The study (pdf), published on Sept. 28 in the medical journal Academic Pediatrics, sought to “assess the association between cumulative aluminum exposure from vaccines before age 24 months [2 years of age]” and see whether this group of children developed asthma between ages 2 and 5.
Authors of the retrospective cohort study included current and former CDC staffers. They analyzed data from a cohort of 326,991 children who were born between 2008 and 2014 at seven medical care organizations across the United States that participate in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a network of health groups that collaborate with the CDC in studying vaccine safety.
Results of the observational study showed that children who were vaccinated with most or all of the recommended aluminum-containing vaccines (>3.00 mg aluminum exposure) had at least a 36 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with persistent asthma than kids who got fewer vaccines (≤3.00 mg aluminum exposure).
About 6 percent of the children with eczema and 2.1 percent of the children without eczema developed persistent asthma in the study. Each additional milligram of vaccine-related aluminum exposure was associated with 1.26- and 1.19-times higher rates of persistent asthma among children with and without eczema, respectively.
Overall, there was a “positive association” between vaccine-related aluminum exposure and persistent asthma, the authors said. They did not conclude that the results suggest any causative link. “[A]dditional investigation of this hypothesis appears warranted,” they added.