Infant vaccinations and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the USA.

Groves FD, Gridley G, Wacholder S, Shu XO, Robison LL, Neglia JP, Linet MS
Br J Cancer. 1999 81 (1): 175-8

PMID: 10487630 · PMCID: PMC2374362 · DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6690668

Previous studies have suggested that infant vaccinations may reduce the risk of subsequent childhood leukaemia. Vaccination histories were compared in 439 children (ages 0-14) diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in nine Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states (USA) between 1 January 1989 and 30 June 1993 and 439 controls selected by random-digit dialing and individually matched to cases on age, race and telephone exchange. Among matched pairs, similar proportions of cases and controls had received at least one dose of oral poliovirus (98%), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (97%), and measles-mumps-rubella (90%) vaccines. Only 47% of cases and 53% of controls had received any Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (relative risk (RR) = 0.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-1.06). Although similar proportions of cases (12%) and controls (11%) received the polysaccharide Hib vaccine (RR = 1.13; 95% CI 0.64-1.98), more controls (41%) than cases (35%) received the conjugate Hib vaccine (RR = 0.57; 95% CI 0.36-0.89). Although we found no relationship between most infant vaccinations and subsequent risk of childhood ALL, our findings suggest that infants receiving the conjugate Hib vaccine may be at reduced risk of subsequent childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Further studies are needed to confirm this association and, if confirmed, to elucidate the underlying mechanism.

MeSH Terms (23)

Adolescent Bacterial Capsules Chickenpox Vaccine Child Child, Preschool Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine Female Haemophilus Vaccines Humans Immunization Schedule Infant Infant, Newborn Male Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine Measles Vaccine Mumps Vaccine Polysaccharides, Bacterial Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma Risk Factors Rubella Vaccine United States Vaccines, Combined Viral Vaccines

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