Under-Vaccination Appears Associated with Increased Risk of Whooping Cough

Under-vaccination with the diptheria, tetanus toxoids and acelluar pertussis (DTaP) vaccine appears to be associated with an increased risk of pertussis (whooping cough) in children 3 to 36 months of age, according to a study by Jason M. Glanz, PhD, of the Institute for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver.

Under-vaccination is an increasing trend that potentially places children and their communities at an increased risk for serious infectious disease, according to the study.

The study involved children born between 2004 and 2008 and cared for at eight managed -are organizations. Each child with laboratory-confirmed pertussis (72 patients) was matched to four randomly selected control patients for a total of 288 controls.

Under-vaccination was defined as missing any of four scheduled doses of the DTaP vaccine. Of 72 case patients with pertussis, 34 (47.22 percent) were under-vaccinated for DTaP vaccine by the date of pertussis diagnosis compared to 64 (22.2 percent) of the control patients. Children under-vaccinated for three or four doses of DTaP vaccine were 18.56 and 28.38 times more likely, respectively, to have received a diagnosis of pertussis than children who were age-appropriately vaccinated, the study reports.

Under-vaccination with DTaP vaccine increases the risk of pertussis among children 3 to 36 months of age, the study concludes.

This study was funded through a subcontract with Americas Health Insurance Plances under a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reference: JAMA Pediatr. Published online Sept. 9, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2353.

Source: American Medical Association (AMA)