Influenza vaccination among Canadians with chronic respiratory disease.Respir Med 2009; 103(1):50-8RM
The purposes of this study were to estimate the prevalence of recent influenza vaccination, to identify sociodemographic risk factors and reasons for non-vaccination, and to examine the association between influenza vaccination and respiratory medication use, among individuals with asthma and COPD in Canada.
Data from the 2003 Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey (n=134,072, age 12-80+ years) were analyzed. All data were based on self-report.
An estimated 36.3% and 47.9% of individuals with asthma and COPD, respectively, were immunized for influenza within the last year in 2003. These vaccination rates were relatively lower than those seen with other non-respiratory health conditions. Respondents thinking that influenza vaccination was not necessary was the most frequent reason cited for non-vaccination among individuals with asthma and COPD. Men, non-Ontarians, younger age groups, current smokers, and those without a family doctor were less likely to be vaccinated among individuals with asthma and COPD. After controlling for potential sociodemographic confounders, among individuals with asthma, those vaccinated for influenza had significantly greater odds of using inhalers/nebulizers (OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.3-2.4). No other significant medication use associations were observed among individuals with asthma and COPD.
Recent self-reported influenza vaccination rates among individuals with asthma and COPD were relatively low. Influenza vaccination was not associated with decreased respiratory medication use among individuals with asthma and COPD, suggesting that vaccination may not help prevent exacerbations. More research is needed to fully clarify the role of influenza vaccination in chronic respiratory disease, particularly asthma, to justify policies of mass-immunization.