A person’s age, ethnicity, and even location can predict whether a case of the flu will become severe enough to send the patient to the hospital, according to research from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
The study, conducted by Rameela Chandrasekhar and other Vanderbilt faculty, found that patients living in poverty or crowded living quarters, or where a female served as head of household, were more likely of being put in the hospital over a case of influenza, a Vanderbilt release said.
U.S. Census data were used to correlate the demographic information with hospitalization rates. “Overall, the investigators found that census tract-based determinants account for 11 percent of the variability in influenza hospitalization,” the release said.
An agreement between the state of Tennessee and the Emerging Infections Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention financed the study, the release said.