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H1N1 Vaccine Tied to Spike in Narcolepsy

March 29, 2012
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Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Source: MedPage Today

Cases of childhood narcolepsy spiked in Finland in 2010, and researchers there are suggesting the adjuvanted vaccine against the H1N1 pandemic flu might have been a trigger.

Two related studies, appearing online in PLoS ONE, found that the incidence of narcolepsy rose markedly in children and adolescents, while remaining unchanged in those 20 and older.

Most of the cases in children occurred after vaccination with the ASO3-adjuvanted flu vaccine Pandemrix, which was the only vaccine used in Finland during the pandemic.

The two studies, with overlapping research teams, used hospital discharge data and vaccination records to identify cases and estimate incidence.

One study, led by Hanna Nohynek, MD, PhD, of the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, focused on children and adolescents who were 4 to 19 in 2010.

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