Objectives: To determine whether children born in Texas regions with higher vaccination coverage had reduced risk of childhood cancer.
Study design: The Texas Cancer Registry identified 2800 cases diagnosed from 1995 to 2006 who were (1) born in Texas and (2) diagnosed at ages 2 to 17 years. The state birth certificate data were used to identify 11 200 age- and sex-matched control subjects. A multilevel mixed-effects regression model compared vaccination rates among cases and control subjects at the public health region and county level.
Results: Children born in counties with higher hepatitis B vaccine coverage had lower odds of all cancers combined (OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67 to 0.98) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) specifically (OR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.46 to 0.88). A decreased odds for ALL also was associated at the county level with higher rates of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (OR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.92) and 4-3-1-3-3 vaccination series (OR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.44 to 0.87). Children born in public health regions with higher coverage levels of the Haemophilus influenzae type b-conjugate vaccine had lower odds of ALL (OR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.42 to 0.82).
Conclusions: Some common childhood vaccines appear to be protective against ALL at the population level.
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