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Global Influenza-Associated Mortality on the Rise

Lancet; ePub 2017 Dec 13; Iuliano, et al

Global influenza-associated respiratory mortality estimates from 1999 to 2015 were higher than previously reported, a recent study found, suggesting that previous estimates may have underestimated disease burden. The modeling study updated the estimated number of global annual influenza-associated respiratory deaths from 1999 to 2015 for 33 countries. Countries were divided into 3 analytic divisions for 3 age groups: <65 years, 65-74 years, and ≥75 years using WHO Global Health Estimate (GHE) respiratory infection mortality rates. Among the findings:

  • The estimated mean annual influenza-associated respiratory excess mortality rate (EMR) ranged from 0.1 to 6.4 per 100,000 individuals for those aged <65 years, 2.9 to 44.0 per 100,000 for those aged 65-74 years, and 17.9 to 223.5 per 100,000 for those aged >75 years.
  • The study estimated that 291,243 to 645,832 seasonal influenza-associated respiratory deaths occur annually.
  • The highest mortality rates were estimated in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia, and among individuals aged ≥75 years.
  • Among children aged <5 years in 92 countries, there were 9,243 to 105,690 annual influenza-associated respiratory deaths.


Iuliano AD, Roguski KM, Chang HH, et al. Estimates of global seasonal influenza-associated respiratory mortality: A modelling study. [Published online ahead of print December 13, 2017]. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33293-2.