Background & Aims
To date, few studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of influenza vaccine in chronic liver disease patients. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of monovalent inactivated influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine and other characteristics associated with hospitalization in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
We conducted a hospital-based cohort study during influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic. A total of 408 patients (132 vaccinated, 276 unvaccinated) with detectable HCV-RNA were followed up with respect to any hospitalization using a weekly postal questionnaire. Reported hospitalizations were verified by medical records.
During the epidemic period, 28 hospitalizations (6 vaccinated, 22 unvaccinated) were observed. After adjustment for potential confounders, vaccination decreased the odds ratio (OR) for hospitalization with marginal significance (OR = 0.43, 95%CI = 0.16–1.17). Besides, positive association with hospitalization was observed in patients with albumin levels <3.5 g/dl (OR = 8.40, 3.66–19.3) and steroid users (OR = 5.58, 0.98–31.7).
Among patients with chronic hepatitis C, A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine appeared to have a protective effect against hospitalization. Those patients with a higher risk for hospitalization should be carefully followed during the influenza season, even when vaccinated.