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Pneumococcal vaccine protects the heart: myth or reality?

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Does vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia reduce the risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke? Apparently not, according to a study of more than 84,000 men aged 45 to 69.

All were participants in the Kaiser Permanente California Men’s Health Study (CMHS).

Studies have shown that preventing influenza by vaccination reduces the risk of vascular events. However, the effect of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine on vascular events is less clear, Dr. Hung Fu Tseng and co-investigators point out in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They used electronic health records to link immunization history, health records, and detailed lifestyle surveys from the ethnically diverse CMHS cohort, recruited between January 2002 and December 2003 and followed through 2007.

After adjusting for multiple known confounders and baseline differences in vaccinated and unvaccinated men, and with propensity score adjustment, pneumococcal vaccine did not reduced the risk of acute MI or stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.09 and 1.14, respectively).

Vaccination was associated with 1211 first MIs during 112,837 person-years, whereas men who weren