Reassessment of the association between guillain-barré syndrome and receipt of swine influenza vaccine in 1976-1977: Results of a two-state study

Thomas J. Safranek, Dale N. Lawrence, Leonard T. Kuriand, David H. Culver, Wigbert C. Wiederholt, Norman S. Hayner, Michael T. Osterholm, Peter O'brien, James M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the original Centers for Disease Control study of the relation between A/ New Jersey/8/76 (swine flu) vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome (polyradiculoneuritis) demonstrated a statistical association and suggested a causal relation between the two events, controversy has persisted. To reassess this association, the authors obtained medical records of all previously reported adult patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome in Michigan and Minnesota from October 1, 1976 through January 31, 1977. To identify previously unreported hospitalized cases with onset of symptoms during this period, the authors surveyed medical care facilities. A group of expert neurologists formulated diagnostic criteria for Guillain-Barré syndrome and then reviewed the clinical records in a blinded fashion. Of the 98 adult patents from the original Centers for Disease Control study eligible for consideration, three were found to have been misclassified by date of onset and were excluded. Of the remaining 95, the 28 (29%) who did not meet the diagnostic criteria were equally distributed between the vaccinated group (18 of 60, 30%) and the unvaccinated group (10 of 35, 29%). In addition to the 67 remaining cases who met the diagnostic criteria, six previously unreported cases (three of whom had been vaccinated) were found and included in this analysis. The relative nsk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome in the vaccinated population of these two states dunng the 6 weeks following vaccination was 7.10, comparable to the relative nsk of 7.60 found in the onginal study. These findings suggest that there was an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome dunng the 6 weeks following vaccination in adults. The excess cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome dunng the first 6 weeks attributed to the vaccine was 8.6 per million vaccinees in Michigan and 9.7 per million vaccines in Minnesota No increase in relative nsk for Guillain-Barrié syndrome was noted beyond 6 weeks after vaccination. Am J Epidemiol 1991; 133: 940-51

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-951
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume133
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1991

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Immunization
  • Influenza
  • Polyradiculoneuritis
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines

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