From the Journals

Rotavirus vaccination is not a risk factor for type 1 diabetes



Rotavirus vaccination was not associated with the incidence of type 1 diabetes in a study of more than 385,000 children published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Previous findings from a number of studies have indicated a possible association between rotavirus and type 1 diabetes, according to Jason M. Glanz, PhD, and colleagues. “Epidemiologic data suggest an association between gastrointestinal infection and incidence of type 1 diabetes in children followed from birth to age 10 years. Given these findings, it is biologically plausible that live, attenuated rotavirus vaccine could either increase or decrease the risk for type 1 diabetes in early childhood,” they wrote.

To examine the association between rotavirus vaccination and the incidence of type 1 diabetes in a cohort of U.S. children, Dr. Glanz, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research in Aurora, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from seven health care organizations that participate in the Vaccine Safety Datalink.

The researchers identified children born between 2006 and 2014 who had continuous enrollment from age 6 weeks to 2 years. They excluded children with a medical contraindication to vaccination or fewer than two well-child visits by age 12 months. They followed children until a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, disenrollment, or Dec. 31, 2017. The researchers adjusted for sex, birth year, mother’s age, birth weight, gestational age, and race or ethnicity.

The cohort included 386,937 children who were followed up a median of 5.4 years for a total person-time follow-up of 2,253,879 years. In all, 386,937 children (93.1%) were fully exposed to rotavirus vaccination; 15,765 (4.1%) were partially exposed to rotavirus vaccination, meaning that they received some, but not all, vaccine doses; and 11,003 (2.8%) were unexposed to rotavirus vaccination but had received all other recommended vaccines.

There were 464 cases of type 1 diabetes in the cohort, with an incidence rate of 20 cases per 100,000 person-years in the fully exposed group, 31.2 cases per 100,000 person-years in the partially exposed group, and 22.4 cases per 100,000 person-years in the unexposed group.

The incidence of type 1 diabetes was not significantly different across the rotavirus vaccine–exposure groups. The researchers reported that, compared with children unexposed to rotavirus vaccination, the adjusted hazard ratio for children fully exposed to rotavirus vaccination was 1.03 (95% confidence interval, 0.62-1.72), and for those partially exposed to the vaccination, it was 1.50 (95% CI, 0.81-2.77).

“Since licensure, rotavirus vaccination has been associated with a reduction in morbidity and mortality due to rotavirus infection in the United States and worldwide. ... Although rotavirus vaccination may not prevent type 1 diabetes, these results should provide additional reassurance to the public that rotavirus vaccination can be safely administered to infants,” they wrote.

The limited follow-up duration and relatively small proportion of patients unexposed to rotavirus vaccination are limitations of the study, the authors noted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the study. Several authors reported having received grants from the CDC. One author received grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and another from pharmaceutical companies not involved in the study.

SOURCE: Glanz JM et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Mar 9. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.6324.

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