Infant immunization and the occurrence of atopic disease in Dutch and German children: a nested case-control study

M.A.H. Mommers*, M. Weishoff-Houben, G.M.H. Swaen, H. Creemers, H. Freund, W. Dott, C.P. van Schayck

*Corresponding author for this work

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Infant immunization and the occurrence of atopic disease in Dutch and German children: a nested case-control study.

Mommers M, Weishoff-Houben M, Swaen GM, Creemers H, Freund H, Dott W, van Schayck CP.

Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.

Our goal was to assess the role of early childhood vaccination in the occurrence of respiratory symptoms and allergic sensitization in 7-8-year-old Dutch and German children. A nested case-control study was conducted among children participating in a large longitudinal study on respiratory health, to study the relationship between vaccination (bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), pertussis, measles/mumps, rubella, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)) and respiratory symptoms and allergic sensitization. Parents of 510 7-8-year-old children with respiratory complaints and an equal number of randomly selected children without respiratory complaints were asked to complete a questionnaire. Blood samples were collected for specific serum IgE analysis. Vaccination status was assessed through the records of the participating Municipal Health Services. No association between vaccination against pertussis, measles, rubella, or Hib and respiratory symptoms or allergic sensitization was found. For sensitization against house dust mite, BCG vaccination resulted in an increased risk (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.05-4.96). Birth order was inversely associated with allergic sensitization, but was not related to respiratory symptoms. We found an association between BCG vaccination and the subsequent risk for sensitization against house dust mite. No evidence was found for an association between vaccination and respiratory symptoms. Earlier reports of an association of birth order with atopic disease were supported by the results of the present study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-334
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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