Objectives: This analysis examined the incidence rate of chronic arthritis adverse reactions reported following adult rubella and hepatitis B vaccinations. In this analysis, etiologic mechanisms for chronic arthritis following adult rubella and hepatitis B vaccines were also explored.
Methods: The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database was analyzed for the incidence rate of reported cases of chronic arthritis in comparison to Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) and tetanus toxoid adult vaccine control groups.
Results: Chronic arthritis adverse reactions following adult rubella vaccination were primarily reported in females (female/male ratio = 3.0), at about 45 years-old, and at a mean onset time of 10-11 days following vaccination. Chronic arthritis adverse reactions following adult hepatitis B vaccination were also primarily reported in females(female/male ratio = 3.5), at about 33 years-old, and with a mean onset time of 16 days following vaccination. The incidence rates of chronic arthritis following adult rubella and adult hepatitis B vaccinations were statistically significantly increased, by chi 2 analysis, in comparison to the adult vaccine control groups. The attributable risk of chronic arthritis following adult rubella vaccine ranged from 32 to 53 and from 5.1 to 9.0 following adult hepatitis B vaccine in comparison to the adult vaccine control groups.
Conclusion: This study revealed that adult rubella and adult hepatitis B vaccines were statistically associated with chronic arthritis which persisted for at least one year. The etiology for these adverse reactions may involve autoimmune mechanisms. Furthermore, potential biases in the reporting rates of adverse reactions to VAERS were not observed.