Epidemiological designs for vaccine safety assessment: Methods and pitfalls
ABSTRACT Three commonly used designs for vaccine safety assessment post licensure are cohort, case-control and self-controlled case series. These methods are often used with routine health databases and immunisation registries. This paper considers the issues that may arise when designing an epidemiological study, such as understanding the vaccine safety question, case definition and finding, limitations of data sources, uncontrolled confounding, and pitfalls that apply to the individual designs. The example of MMR and autism, where all three designs have been used, is presented to help consider these issues.
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ABSTRACT: The self-controlled case series method is increasingly being used in pharmacoepidemiology, particularly in vaccine safety studies. This method is typically used to evaluate the association between a transient exposure and an acute event, using only cases. We present both parametric and semiparametric models using a motivating example on MMR vaccine and bleeding disorders. We briefly describe approaches for interferent events and a sequential version of the method for prospective surveillance of drug safety. The efficiency of the self-controlled case series method is compared to the that of cohort and case control studies. Some further extensions, to long or indefinite exposures and to bivariate counts, are described.Statistical Methods in Medical Research 07/2008; 18(1):7-26. DOI:10.1177/0962280208092342 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A new method is developed for analyzing case series data in situations where occurrence of the event censors, curtails, or otherwise affects post-event exposures. Unbiased estimating equations derived from the self-controlled case series model are adapted to allow for exposures whose occurrence or observation is influenced by the event. The method applies to transient point exposures and rare nonrecurrent events. Asymptotic efficiency is studied in some special cases. A computational scheme based on a pseudo-likelihood is proposed to make the computations feasible in complex models. Simulations, a validation study, and 2 applications are described.Biostatistics 06/2008; 10(1):3-16. DOI:10.1093/biostatistics/kxn013 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Concern that measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination might cause autism has led to a fall in vaccine coverage. We investigated whether MMR vaccination is associated with an increased risk of autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. We did a matched case-control study using the UK General Practice Research Database. Cases were people born in 1973 or later who had first recorded diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder while registered with a contributing general practice between 1987 and 2001. Controls were matched on age, sex, and general practice. 1294 cases and 4469 controls were included. 1010 cases (78.1%) had MMR vaccination recorded before diagnosis, compared with 3671 controls (82.1%) before the age at which their matched case was diagnosed. After adjustment for age at joining the database, the odds ratio for association between MMR and pervasive developmental disorder was 0.86 (95% CI 0.68-1.09). Findings were similar when restricted to children with a diagnosis of autism, to those vaccinated with MMR before the third birthday, or to the period before media coverage of the hypothesis linking MMR with autism. Our findings suggest that MMR vaccination is not associated with an increased risk of pervasive developmental disorders.The Lancet 09/2004; 364(9438):963-9. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17020-7 · 39.21 Impact Factor