Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hepatitis B: Routine childhood vaccines may reduce leukemia risk

Posted February 8, 2011
Routine childhood vaccines may reduce leukemia risk

Pagaoa MA. J Pediatr. 2011;doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.11.054.

Children born in areas with higher coverage rates with certain vaccines had lower odds of developing all cancers, especially acute lymphoblastic leukemia, than children born in other areas, a study in Texas found.

Researchers from the University of Texas School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital used the Texas Cancer Registry to identify 2,800 pediatric patients with cancer who were diagnosed from 1995 to 2006. All patients were born in Texas and were diagnosed from ages 2 to 17 years. A group of 11,200 age- and gender-matched controls were identified using state birth certificate data.

The researchers found that children born in counties with higher hepatitis B vaccine coverage levels had lower odds of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia

(ALL) (OR=0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.88), as well as all cancers combined (OR=0.81; 95% CI, 0.67-0.98).

Children born in counties with higher inactivated poliovirus vaccine coverage also had a decreased odds for ALL (OR=0.67; 95% CI, 0.49-0.92), as were children born in counties offering a 4-3-1-3-3 vaccination series (OR=0.62; 95% CI, 0.44-0.87). ALL rates were also lower (OR=0.58; 95% CI, 0.42-0.82) in children born in public health regions with higher rates of Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine coverage.

“We found novel and confirmatory results for the associations between specific vaccines and for the common vaccine series in relation to risk of ALL, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and medulloblastoma,” the researchers concluded. “In addition, because we used a large pool of population-based control subjects, the distribution of potential risk factors between the cases and control subjects was similar and reduced the possibility that our significant results were due to confounding

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