Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hospitalised patients with suspected 2009 H1N1 Influenza A in a hospital in Norway, July - December 2009

Bjorn J Brandsaeter1*, Magnus Pillgram1, Dag Berild1, Harald Kjekshus2, Anne-Marte B Kran3 and Bente M Bergersen1

Author Affiliations

1 Oslo University Hospital Aker, Department of Infectious Diseases, Trondheimsveien 235, 0514 Oslo, Norway

2 Oslo University Hospital Aker, Department of Cardiology, Trondheimsveien 235, 0514 Oslo, Norway

3 Oslo University Hospital Ulleval, Department of Microbiology, Kirkeveien 166, 0407 Oslo, Norway

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:75  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-75

Published: 24 March 2011



The main objective of this study was to describe the patients who were hospitalised at Oslo University Hospital Aker during the first wave of pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) in Norway.


Clinical data on all patients hospitalised with influenza-like illness from July to the end of November 2009 were collected prospectively. Patients with confirmed H1N1 Influenza A were compared to patients with negative H1N1 tests.


182 patients were hospitalised with suspected H1N1 Influenza A and 64 (35%) tested positive. Seventeen patients with positive tests (27%) were admitted to an intensive care unit and four patients died (6%). The H1N1 positive patients were younger, consisted of a higher proportion of non-ethnic Norwegians, had a higher heart rate on admission, and fewer had pre-existing hypertension, compared to the H1N1 negative patients. However, hypertension was the only medical condition that was significantly associated with a more serious outcome defined as ICU admission or death, with a univariate odds ratio of the composite endpoint in H1N1 positive and negative patients of 6.1 (95% CI 1.3-29.3) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.2-8.7), respectively. Chest radiography revealed pneumonia in 24/59 H1N1 positive patients. 63 of 64 H1N1 positive patients received oseltamivir.


The extra burden of hospitalisations was relatively small and we managed to admit all the patients with suspected H1N1 influenza without opening new pandemic isolation wards. The morbidity and mortality were similar to reports from comparable countries. Established hypertension was associated with more severe morbidity and patients with hypertension should be considered candidates for vaccination programs in future pandemics.

Influenza A H1N1; pandemic; hypertension; isolation; outcome