267346 Association of Influenza Vaccinations and Asthma Exacerbations among Asthmatic Children in the US

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Lauren E. Wisk, BS , Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Experts recommend that all asthmatic children older than six months receive an annual influenza vaccination; however, it is unknown if the influenza vaccine is effective in preventing asthma exacerbation. We sought to determine the impact of receiving an influenza vaccination on having an asthma attack and visiting the emergency room for asthma during a 12 month period among a nationally representative, population-based sample of asthmatic children. We examined data on 8,423 children who had ever received a diagnosis of asthma from the 2005-2010 National Health Interview Survey. Receipt of flu shot or spray, occurrence of an asthma episode/attack, and visiting the ER due to asthma were examined during a 12 month window. All analyses adjusted for propensity to receive the flu vaccine, asthma severity, and sociodemographic characteristics. Despite recommendations, influenza shot levels among asthmatic children are generally low, with only 37.7% receiving a flu shot or spray in the 12 months prior to the survey. Asthmatic children who received the flu shot were 1.34 times as likely (95% CI: 1.22-1.48) to experience an asthma attack and 1.18 times as likely (95% CI: 1.01-1.38) to visit the ER for asthma as those who did not receive a flu shot; children who received the flu spray were not at an increased risk for an asthma attack or an ER visit. The intramuscular flu vaccine may not be effective in preventing asthma exacerbation in children, and may in fact lead to increased asthma exacerbations. Additional investigation, not limited by cross-sectional data, is warranted.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the association between influenza vaccinations and asthma exacerbations among asthmatic children in the US. Discuss the need for additional research into the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine for preventing asthma exacerbations.

Keywords: Child Health, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the research question, compiled the data, and conducted all analyses for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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