Statistical Brief #341
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can cause mild to severe illness. Older adults and people with some types of chronic conditions (pulmonary disease, asthma, cardiovascular disease excluding hypertension, renal disease, hepatic disease, degenerative nervous system conditions, hematologic conditions, and metabolic disorders including diabetes) are at increased risk for complications from the flu that may lead to hospitalization or even death. Receiving an influenza immunization may reduce the chance of getting the flu and its complications in most adults.
This Statistical Brief presents estimates for 2001 and 2011 from the Household Component of the Medical Panel Expenditure Survey (MEPS-HC) of the percentage of the adult U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population that reported receiving a flu shot within the past year. Subgroups at increased risk of flu complications are examined including persons age 50 years and older and persons with selected chronic conditions (see definitions section below for chronic conditions included). Variation in the likelihood of receiving a flu shot is also examined by health insurance status. Estimates from the MEPS-HC are based on information provided by survey respondents about themselves and other family members in the household. All comparisons discussed in the text are statistically significant at the .05 level unless otherwise noted.
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