A substudy analysis was conducted to determine the clinical characteristics associated with symptomatic, laboratory-documented influenza (LDI) among 2215 veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who participated in Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study 448 and who received trivalent inactivated influenza virus vaccine with or without intranasal live-attenuated, cold-adapted influenza vaccine. Of 585 evaluable first occurrences of acute respiratory illnesses, 94 (16%) were LDI. Respiratory symptoms of cough, sputum production, and dyspnea occurred in >90% of patients with LDI; 68% had documented or subjective fever, and 81% had myalgias. Stepwise logistic regression identified only fever and myalgia as being statistically associated with LDI. During the influenza outbreak period, the positive predictive value of fever and myalgia was 41%. Clinical criteria were poor predictors of LDI in these older, vaccinated patients with chronic lung disease. Additional studies are warranted to define optimal methods for the diagnosis of influenza among older persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support: Cooperative Studies Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development and Aviron (Mountain View, CA).