Flu vaccination linked to 40% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease risk – Neuroscience News

Summary: Older people who received at least one flu shot were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease during a four-year follow-up than their peers who did not receive a vaccine.

Source: UT Houston

People who received at least one flu shot were 40% less likely than their unvaccinated peers to develop Alzheimer’s disease over a four-year period, according to a new study from UTHealth Houston.

Research led by first author Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a recent alumnus of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, and lead author Paul. E. Schulz, MD, Rick McCord Professor of Neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of Alzheimer’s disease incidence between patients with and without prior influenza vaccination in a large national sample of US adults aged 65 and over.

A first online version of the article detailing the results is available ahead of its publication in the August 2 issue of Alzheimer’s Disease Journal.

“We have found that flu vaccination in older people reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years a person received an annual flu shot – in other words, the rate of development of Alzheimer’s disease was lowest in those who regularly received the flu shot every year,” said Bukhbinder, who is still a member of Schulz’s research team in his first year of residency at the Division of Child Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Future research should assess whether influenza vaccination is also associated with the rate of symptom progression in patients who already have Alzheimer’s dementia.”

The study – which comes two years after UTHealth Houston researchers discovered a possible link between the flu vaccine and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease – analyzed a much larger sample size than previous research, including 935,887 flu-vaccinated patients and 935,887 unvaccinated patients.

These results underline the strong protective effect of the flu vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. Image is in public domain

During four-year follow-up appointments, approximately 5.1% of flu-vaccinated patients developed Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, 8.5% of unvaccinated patients had developed Alzheimer’s disease during follow-up.

These results underscore the strong protective effect of the flu vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease, according to Bukhbinder and Schulz. However, the mechanisms underlying this process require further study.

“Since there is evidence that multiple vaccines can protect against Alzheimer’s disease, we believe this is not a specific effect of the flu vaccine,” said Schulz, who is also a professor of Alzheimer’s disease. the Umphrey Family in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Director of Neurocognitive Disorders. McGovern Medical School Center.

“Instead, we believe that the immune system is complex and that certain alterations, such as pneumonia, can activate it in a way that worsens Alzheimer’s disease. But other things that activate the immune system may do so in a different way, one that protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Obviously, we have more to learn about how the immune system worsens or improves outcomes in this disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 6 million people living in the United States, with the number of those affected increasing due to the aging of the country’s population. Previous studies have found a decreased risk of dementia associated with previous exposure to various vaccines in adulthood, including those for tetanus, poliomyelitis, and herpes, in addition to the flu vaccine and others. .

Additionally, as time passes since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and longer follow-up data becomes available, Bukhbinder said it would be useful to investigate whether there is a similar association between COVID vaccination. -19 and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

About this research news on vaccinations and Alzheimer’s disease

Author: Press office
Source: UT Houston
Contact: Press Office – UT Houston
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: Free access.
“Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Following Influenza Vaccination: A Claims-Based Cohort Study Using Propensity Score Matching” by Avram S. Bukhbinder et al. Alzheimer’s Disease Journal

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Summary

Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Following Influenza Vaccination: A Claims-Based Cohort Study Using Propensity Score Matching

Background:

Previous studies have found a reduced risk of dementia of any etiology after influenza vaccination in certain populations, including veterans and patients with serious chronic health conditions. However, the effect of influenza vaccination on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in a general cohort of older American adults has not been characterized.

Objective:

To compare the risk of Alzheimer’s disease incidence between patients with and without prior influenza vaccination in a large US claims database.

Methods :

Anonymized claims data covering the period from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2019 was used. Eligible patients were free of dementia during the 6-year retrospective period and aged ≥ 65 years at the start of follow-up. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to create influenza-vaccinated and non-influenza-vaccinated cohorts with similar baseline demographics, medication use, and comorbidities. Relative risk (RR) and absolute risk reduction (ARR) were estimated to assess the effect of influenza vaccination on AD risk during 4-year follow-up.

Results:

From the unmatched sample of eligible patients (not= 2,356,479), PSM produced a sample of 935,887 matched influenza-vaccinated-unvaccinated pairs. The matched sample was 73.7 (SD, 8.7) years old and 56.9% female, with a median follow-up of 46 (IQR, 29–48) months; 5.1% (not= 47,889) of patients vaccinated against influenza and 8.5% (not= 79,630) of patients not vaccinated against influenza developed AD during follow-up. The RR was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.61) and the ARR was 0.034 (95% CI, 0.033 to 0.035), corresponding to a number needed to treat of 29.4 .

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that influenza vaccination is associated with a reduced risk of AD in a national sample of US adults aged 65 and older.

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