JAMA logoIt is probably a known fact that, the pneumococcal vaccine should not be received by persons with a prior history of hypersensitivity reactions to the vaccine. A recent study, undertaken by the scientists at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena revealed some startling facts concerning the vaccine. It apparently claims that, men aged 45 years or more who received pneumococcal vaccine, were not less likely to have a heart attack or stroke as compared to men who did not receive the vaccine.

The study authors undertook a study, to determine the relation between vaccination with pneumococcal vaccine, and the risk of developing acute heart attack and stroke in men. The study was conducted by Hung Fu Tseng, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, and his colleagues. Taking into consideration, known and potentially important confounders which are mainly the factors that can influence a study, could possibly further lead to unexpected outcomes that may improperly skew the results.

The study included a vast sample of 84,170 participants, of Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California health plans. All the participants, aged 45 to 69 years and were recruited from the California Men’s Health Study between January 2002 and December 2003, and followed up until December 31, 2007. The associate was similar to the population of health plan members and men who responded to a general health survey in California, on important demographic and clinical characteristics. Surveys helped collect data, about demographic and detailed lifestyle characteristics. Records of vaccination were collected from the Kaiser Immunization Tracking System.

During the follow-up it was determined, that, amongst vaccinated persons there were 1,211 first myocardial infarctions (MIs; heart attack) i.e. at the rate of 10.7 per 1000 person-years. This was when compared with 1,494 first MI events in unvaccinated individuals at the rate of 6.07 per 1000 person-years. When compared for stroke, 651 events probably appeared in vaccinated persons at the rate of 5.3 per 1000 person-years. On the other hand, 483 events were monitored in unvaccinated persons at the rate of 1.9 per 1000 person-years.

The study authors, then thoroughly examined the data. It appeared that, there was no confirmed proof, which confirmed about an association between pneumococcal vaccination and reduced risk of acute MI or stroke. However, the association was not examined in the current smokers, men with a history of diabetes or hyper-tension, or men of the low-risk group.

The study was published in the May 5 issue of JAMA.