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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 22/29, 2016

Influenza Hits Poor People Hardest

JAMA. 2016;315(12):1221. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2405

Illness has always had a disproportionate effect on poor populations, and now researchers have confirmed that severe influenza requiring hospitalization is more prevalent in impoverished neighborhoods nationwide.

By linking influenza cases with the socioeconomic status of populations living in specific census tracts, the researchers went beyond routine public health surveillance data. They analyzed influenza hospitalization data from 14 Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) sites including 27 million people, or 9% of the US population. The data cover 2 flu seasons from 2010 to 2012 (Hadler JL et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65[5]:101-105).