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Influenza Vaccination Linked to Risk for Guillain-Barre

Small but significant increased risk after immunization in adults

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A small but statistically significant increase in adult hospitalization for Guillain-Barre syndrome is linked to influenza vaccination, according to the results of a Canadian study published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

David N. Juurlink, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues evaluated April 1992 to March 2004 Ontario province population-based studies to determine whether influenza immunization is associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Of 1,601 adult hospital admissions due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, in 269 cases the disease was diagnosed within 43 weeks of influenza vaccination. The estimated relative rate of the syndrome during weeks two through seven compared to the control interval (weeks 20 through 43) was 1.45. Separate time-series evaluation showed no evidence of seasonality and no statistically significant increase in admissions due to Guillain-Barre after influenza vaccine.

"Influenza vaccination is associated with a small but significantly increased risk for hospitalization because of Guillain-Barre syndrome," the authors conclude.

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