Rate of Hospitalizations and Mortality of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Compared to Influenza in Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is commonly regarded as an infection typical of children, but increasing literature is showing its importance in older people. Since the data regarding the impact of RSV are still limited for older people, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to compare the rate of hospitalization and mortality between RSV and influenza in this population. A systematic literature search until 15 June 2022 was done across several databases and including studies reporting incidence rate and cumulative incidence of hospitalization and mortality in RSV and influenza affecting older people. Among 2295 records initially screened, 16 studies including 762,084 older participants were included. Compared to older patients having influenza, patients with RSV did not show any significant different risk in hospitalization (either cumulative or incidence rate). Similar results were evident for mortality. The quality of the studies was in general good. In conclusion, our systematic review and meta-analysis showed that the rate of hospitalization and mortality was similar between RSV and influenza in older adults, suggesting the importance of vaccination for RSV in older people for preventing negative outcomes, such as mortality and hospitalization.