Pneumococcal Vaccine Not Found to Reduce Heart Risks

Study of men ages 45 to 69 shows no link between vaccination and reduced risk of MI and stroke
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- In older men, receipt of pneumococcal vaccine is not linked to a reduced risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, according to a study in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hung Fu Tseng, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study of 84,170 participants ages 45 to 69 from the California Men's Health Study who were recruited between January 2002 and December 2003. The men were followed until Dec. 31, 2007.

After accounting for propensity score, the researchers found no evidence of an association between pneumococcal vaccination and reduced risk of acute MI or stroke (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.09 and 1.14, respectively). They also did not find an inverse association in men of different age and risk groups.

"Our findings are consistent with those reported by Smeeth et al, which showed within-person comparisons using the case-series method to study the risks of MI and stroke after common vaccinations and naturally occurring infections," the researchers write. "The authors concluded that acute infections are associated with a transient increase in the risk of vascular events. However, influenza, tetanus, and pneumococcal vaccinations do not produce a detectable increase in the risk of vascular events. Combined with the findings from our study, it appears that both short- and long-term risks of acute MI and stroke are not affected by pneumococcal vaccination"

The study was funded by California Cancer Research Program and Kaiser Permanente. Four authors disclosed financial ties to Merck and one to GlaxoSmithKline.

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