Respiratory tract infections (RTI) are common among young children, and congenital heart defect (CHD) is a risk factor for severe illness and hospitalization. This study aims to assess the relative risk of hospitalization due to RTI in winter and summer seasons for different types of CHD. All children born in Sweden and under the age of two, in 2006–2011, were included. Heart defects were grouped according to type. Hospitalization rates for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and RTI in general were retrieved from the national inpatient registry. The relative risk of hospitalization was calculated by comparing each subgroup to other types of CHD and otherwise healthy children. The relative risk of hospitalization was increased for all CHD subgroups, and there was a greater increase in risk in summer for the most severe CHD. This included RSV infection, as well as RTI in general. The risk of hospitalization due to RTI is greater for CHD children. Prophylactic treatment with palivizumab, given to prevent severe RSV illness, is only recommended during winter. We argue that information to healthcare staff and parents should include how the risk of severe infectious respiratory tract illnesses, RSV and others, is present all year round for children with CHD
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