>Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 11:03:38 -0700
>From: Michael Belkin
Missing -- follow up on permanent brain damage and developmental delays
with seizure victims.
"Within two weeks of vaccination, immunized children were nearly three
times more likely to develop febrile seizures than children who were not
Seizure risk with MMR vaccine slight, temporary
Last Updated: 2004-07-21 16:17:10 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Vaccination with the measles, mumps, and
rubella (MMR) vaccine appears to increase a child's risk of having a
seizure from a high fever -- a usually harmless event. However, the
increased risk appears to be small and short-lived, Danish researchers
Moreover, like other febrile seizures, those arising after vaccination were
not associated with an increased risk of developing epilepsy.
The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, are based on a study of all children born in Denmark between
1991 and 1998 who survived at least 3 months. More than 535,000 children
were followed through 1999.
A total of 439,251 children (82 percent) were given the MMR vaccine, lead
author Dr. Mogens Vestergaard, from Aarhus University, and colleagues note.
Of all children studied, 17,986 experienced febrile seizures at least once.
Within two weeks of vaccination, immunized children were nearly three times
more likely to develop febrile seizures than children who were not
vaccinated. Beyond this point, however, the risk of seizures in each group
A personal or sibling history of febrile seizures greatly increased the
risk of seizures following MMR vaccination, but the actual risk was still
Specifically, at 15 to 17 months, the overall rate of seizures within 2
weeks of vaccination was 1.6 per 1000 children. With a personal or sibling
history of seizures, the corresponding rates were 19.5 and 4.0 per 1000
Experiencing a febrile seizure after vaccination slightly increased the
risk of a repeat seizure, but had no effect on the risk of epilepsy
compared with other febrile seizures.
"MMR vaccination is an effective health intervention," the authors
emphasize, "and the transient increased rate of febrile seizures was
restricted to 2 weeks following vaccination."
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, July 21, 2004.
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