Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

First Advisor

David Kaminsky, M.D., Vermont Lung Center

Second Advisor

Douglas Johnson, Ph.D., Director, MMG Undergraduate Program


influenza, COPD, smoking, length of stay in hospital


The annual occurrence of seasonal influenza virus poses a significant health burden. Certain populations are at higher risk for influenza infection, such as cigarette smokers, the elderly, and patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Monitoring the length of time that patients are hospitalized with influenza is of clinical importance. The objectives of this study were to identify characteristics of patients hospitalized with influenza and to determine whether smoking correlates to extended LOS (length of stay in hospital). It was hypothesized that smoking and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) would most significantly explain prolonged LOS. Information was collected from a cohort of adult patients admitted to hospital with influenza during the 2012- 2013 season. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare variables with LOS as an outcome. Among 54 patients, the median age was 73.5 and the median Body Mass Index was 26.1 kg/m2. Exactly two-thirds were smokers and just under one-third was diagnosed with COPD. Univariate statistical analyses determined that patients with COPD, diabetes, and more than one comorbid condition had significantly increased LOS (p = 0.0129*, 0.0191*, 0.0046*; respectively). A generalized linear model was generated (n = 50), revealing that patients with COPD and more than one comorbid condition significantly correlated to prolonged LOS (p = 0.0266* and 0.0079*, respectively). Smoking status was not a significan indicator for lengthier LOS in either set of analyses. Promoting the use of vaccination for individuals with COPD and extensive comorbid conditions is imperative.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.