Research: hepatitis B vaccination is not a risk factor for MSers

Epub: Martínez-Sernández & Figueiras. Central nervous system demyelinating diseases and recombinant hepatitis B vaccination: a critical systematic review of scientific production. J Neurol. 2012 Oct.

Background: The aetiology of MS has not yet been fully described. A potential link between the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and an increased risk of onset or exacerbation of MS emerged in the mid-1990s, leading to several spontaneous reports and studies investigating this association. 

Aims: These investigators’ conducted a critical systematic review aimed at assessing whether hepatitis B vaccination increases the risk of onset or relapse of MS and other central nervous system demyelinating diseases. 

Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were used as data sources, and the search covered the period between 1981 and 2011. Twelve references met the inclusion criteria. 

Results: No significant increased risk of onset or relapse of the diseases considered was associated with hepatitis B vaccination, except in one study. Most studies included in this review displayed methodological limitations and heterogeneity among them, which rendered it impossible to draw robust conclusions about the safety of hepatitis B vaccination in healthy subjects and MSers 

Conclusions: On the basis of current data there is no need to modify the vaccination recommendations; however, there is a need to improve the quality of observational studies with emphasis on certain considerations that are discussed in this review.

“This meta-analysis is further evidence that the link between hepatitis B vaccination and MS is probably non-existent or if it is there is very weak. In other words having a hepatitis B vaccine is unlikely to trigger the onset of MS or MS attacks.”

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