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Our aim was to determine whether rhinovirus (RV) lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in prematurely born infants increase health-related cost of care during infancy. 153 infants born at <36 weeks of gestation were prospectively followed to 1 year. Cost of care was calculated from the National Health Service reference costing scheme and healthcare utilisation determined by examining hospital/general practitioner records. 20 infants developed RV LRTIs (RV group), 17 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) LRTIs (RSV group), 12 both RV and RSV LRTIs (RV/RSV group) and 74 had no LRTI (no LRTI group). Compared with the no LRTI group, the RV/RSV LRTI group had the greatest increase in adjusted mean cost (difference GBP 5769), followed by the RV LRTI group (difference GBP 278) and, finally, the RSV LRTI group (difference GBP 172) (p=0.045). The RV group had more outpatient (p<0.05) and respiratory-related general practitioner (p<0.05) attendances, more wheezed at follow-up (p<0.001) than the no LRTI group and more had respiratory-related outpatient attendances than the RSV LRTI group (p<0.05). We conclude that RV LRTIs were associated with increased health-related cost of care during infancy; our results suggest that the RV group compared with the RSV group suffered greater chronic respiratory morbidity.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Respir J

Publication Date





1029 - 1036


Delivery of Health Care, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Care Costs, Hospitalization, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Infant, Premature, Diseases, Male, Picornaviridae Infections, Prospective Studies, Respiratory Sounds, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections, Respiratory Tract Infections, Time Factors