Chronic arthropathy and musculoskeletal symptoms associated with rubella vaccines. A review of 124 claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Sep;39(9):1529-34. doi: 10.1002/art.1780390913.

Abstract

Objective: To report the outcome of 124 claims of chronic arthropathy associated with rubella vaccine submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Methods: Medical records and testimony were reviewed separately by physicians and Special Masters to determine the clinical diagnosis and eligibility for compensation under the Program.

Results: Among the 124 subjects with chronic arthropathy, the onset occurred between 1 week and 6 weeks after the rubella vaccination in 72, and < 1 week or > 6 weeks after the vaccination in 52. Various conditions developed in the 2 onset groups (1-6 weeks postvaccination, < 1 week or > 6 weeks postvaccination), including, respectively, unspecified arthritis (n = 29, n = 1), specified arthritis (n = 11, n = 19), arthralgia (n = 24, n = 7), fibromyalgia (n = 4, n = 11), and multiple symptoms with minimal arthralgia or myalgia (n = 4, n = 14). Concordance of medical recommendations by Program physicians and Special Masters' decisions in 56 completed claims was 91%, with awards mainly to patients with chronic unspecified arthritis and arthralgia.

Conclusion: The Program and the US Court of Federal Claims have accepted a causal relationship between currently used rubella vaccine in the US and some chronic arthropathy with an onset between 1 week and 6 weeks after vaccine administration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / epidemiology
  • Arthralgia / etiology*
  • Arthritis / epidemiology
  • Arthritis / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology
  • Fibromyalgia / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insurance Claim Review*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rubella Vaccine / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Rubella Vaccine