Loose Ends in the #Epidemiology of the 1918 #Pandemic: Explaining the Extreme #Mortality #Risk in #Young Adults (Am J Epidemiol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Am J Epidemiol. 2018 Sep 6. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy148. [Epub ahead of print]

Loose Ends in the Epidemiology of the 1918 Pandemic: Explaining the Extreme Mortality Risk in Young Adults.

van Wijhe M1, Ingholt MM1, Andreasen V1, Simonsen L1.

Author information: 1 Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.

 

Abstract

In the century since the 1918 influenza pandemic, insights have been sought to explain the pandemic’s signature pattern of high death rates in young adults and low death rates in the elderly and infants. Our understanding of the origin and evolution of the pandemic has shifted considerably. We review evidence of the characteristic age-related pattern of death during the 1918 pandemic relative to the “original antigenic sin” hypothesis. We analyze age-stratified mortality data from Copenhagen around 1918 to identify break points associated with unusual death risk. Whereas infants had no meaningful risk elevation, death risk gradually increased, peaking for young adults 20-34 years of age before dropping sharply for adults ages 35-44 years, suggesting break points for birth cohorts around 1908 and 1878. Taken together with data from previous studies, there is strong evidence that those born before 1878 or after 1908 were not at increased risk of dying of 1918 pandemic influenza. Although the peak death risk coincided with the 1889-1892 pandemic, the 1908 and 1878 break points do not correspond with known pandemics. An increasing number of interdisciplinary studies covering fields such as virology, phylogenetics, death, and serology offer exciting insights into patterns and reasons for the unusual extreme 1918 pandemic mortality risk in young adults.

PMID: 30192906 DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwy148

Keywords: Pandemic Influenza; Spanish Flu; H1N1; Denmark.

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gimi69

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

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