The disease burden of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in the adult population has not been well characterized compared to children. Investigation of the clinical characteristics and disease burden of adult RSV infection would help to establish public health policy and a future vaccine strategy. We retrospectively collected medical records of hospitalized adult patients who were diagnosed with RSV infection from January 2012 to December 2015 from three tertiary hospitals. Baseline characteristics, clinical outcomes and economic charge during hospitalization were compared by age groups (19–49 years, 50–64 years, and ≥ 65 years) using Chi-square test. The odds of risk factors of RSV pneumonia were calculated using binary logistic regression. A total of 204 patients from three hospitals were enrolled. Patients who older than 65 years were 132 (64.7%). 118 (57.8%) patients had clinically confirmed pneumonia and 22 (10.8%) died in a hospital. The median medical cost of RSV pneumonia was 2,855.26 USD (interquartile range, 1,561.85–5,379.55) per each admission. Solid cancer (adjusted OR, 3.85; 95% CI, 1.65–9.02, p = 0.002) and hematologic malignancy (all patients had pneumonia) were shown to be risk factors for RSV pneumonia. RSV infection in South Korea seemed to have a significant burden among adults as pneumonia, care in the intensive care unit and mortality. Nationwide awareness and further effort to recognize the current burden, prepare specific treatment, and prevent adult RSV infection would be necessary.
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