We estimated exposure prevalence and studied potential risks for preterm delivery (PTD) and specific birth defects associated with exposure to the unadjuvanted pH1N1-containing vaccines in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 influenza seasons. We used data from 4 regional centers in the United States collected as part of the Slone Epidemiology Center's Birth Defects Study. For PTD, propensity score-adjusted time-varying hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for exposure anytime in pregnancy and for each trimester. For 41 specific major birth defects, propensity score-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Among 4191 subjects, there were 3104 mothers of malformed (cases) and 1087 mothers of nonmalformed (controls). Exposure prevalences among controls were 47% for the 2009-2010 season and 38% for the 2010-2011 season; prevalence varied by geographic region. Results for PTD differed between the two seasons, with risks above and below the null for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, respectively. For 41 specific birth defects, most adjusted ORs were close to 1.0. Three defects had adjusted ORs>2.0 and four had risks<0.5; however, 95% CIs for these were wide.
Conclusions: Among women exposed to pH1N1 vaccine, we found a decreased risk for PTD in the 2010-2011 season; risk was increased in 2009-2010, particularly following exposure in the first trimester, though the decrease in gestational length was less than 2 days. For specific major defects, we found no meaningful evidence of increased risk for specific congenital malformations following pH1N1 influenza vaccinations in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons.
Keywords: Birth defects; Pandemic H1N1 vaccine; Pregnancy; Preterm delivery.
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