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Childhood vaccination may protect adult eyes
Date:9/19/2007

rn patients born before rubella vaccinations (1919-1958) the percentages of FHI and two other eye inflammatory diseases were about equal. But there was a 69 percent drop in FHI in patients born the following decade (1959-1968) and a further 40 percent drop in patients born from 1969 to 1978. Only one FHI patient born during the decade 1979-1988 was seen.

Over the same periods, the percentage of foreign-born patients with FHI increased compared with the controls.

Rubella vaccination was implemented in the United States in 1969. By 1977, an estimated 60 percent of children had been vaccinated, with an 80 percent decline in cases.

Currently, children commonly receive two doses of the vaccine by the time they are six years old. As a result of the vaccination program, the majority of U.S. rubella cases now occur in foreign-born individuals.

The vast majority of eye inflammatory diseases have no known cause, according to Goldstein. "Although this kind of study has its limitations, it's exciting to find convincing epidemiological support for earlier research implicating the rubella virus as a cause of FHI," she said.


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Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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