Objectives: This study tested the hypothesis that immunization is related to the prevalence of atopic disease in childhood.
Methods: We used data from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood to perform an ecologic analysis of national and local immunization rates for tuberculosis, diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis (DTP), and measles and prevalence of atopic disease symptoms (asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema).
Results: In 13- to 14-year-old children, there were significant negative associations with local birth-year immunization rates for DTP and measles but none with rates for tuberculosis. No associations were found in 6- to 7-year-old children. No associations with national immunization rates were found.
Conclusions: International variations in childhood atopic diseases are unlikely to be explained by variations in immunization.