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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Infectious Diseases - Public Health and Epidemiology - Respiratory Medicine

Socioeconomic Factors Influencing Hospitalized Patients with Pneumonia Due to Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in Mexico
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Author: Toshie Manabe et al.

by Toshie Manabe, Anjarath Lorena Higuera Iglesias, Maria Eugenia Vazquez Manriquez, Eduarda Leticia Martinez Valadez, Leticia Alfaro Ramos, Shinyu Izumi, Jin Takasaki, Koichiro Kudo

Background

In addition to clinical aspects and pathogen characteristics, people's health-related behavior and socioeconomic conditions can affect the occurrence and severity of diseases including influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.

Methodology and Principal Findings

A face-to-face interview survey was conducted in a hospital in Mexico City at the time of follow-up consultation for hospitalized patients with pneumonia due to influenza virus infection. In all, 302 subjects were enrolled and divided into two groups based on the period of hospitalization. Among them, 211 tested positive for influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus by real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction during the pandemic period (Group-pdm) and 91 tested positive for influenza A virus in the post-pandemic period (Group-post). All subjects were treated with oseltamivir. Data on the demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, living environment, and information relating to A(H1N1)pdm09, and related clinical data were compared between subjects in Group-pdm and those in Group-post. The ability of household income to pay for utilities, food, and health care services as well as housing quality in terms of construction materials and number of rooms revealed a significant difference: Group-post had lower socioeconomic status than Group-pdm. Group-post had lower availability of information regarding H1N1 influenza than Group-pdm. These results indicate that subjects in Group-post had difficulty receiving necessary information relating to influenza and were more likely to be impoverished than those in Group-pdm. Possible factors influencing time to seeking health care were number of household rooms, having received information on the necessity of quick access to health care, and house construction materials.

Conclusions

Health-care-seeking behavior, poverty level, and the distribution of information affect the occurrence and severity of pneumonia due to H1N1 virus from a socioeconomic point of view. These socioeconomic factors may explain the different patterns of morbidity and mortality for H1N1 influenza observed among different countries and regions.

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