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Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Aug 1;186(3):344-355. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx088.

Association Between Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccination and Childhood Asthma in the Quebec Birth Cohort on Immunity and Health.


We estimated the association between bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and childhood asthma in a birth cohort using administrative databases, and we determined the impact of adjusting for potential confounders collected from a subset of the cohort members. Data were collected in 2 waves: 1) Administrative data for 76,623 individuals (stage 1) was gathered from the Quebec Birth Cohort on Immunity and Health (1974-1994), including BCG vaccination status, perinatal and sociodemographic characteristics, and use of health services for asthma; and 2) self-reported asthma risk factors were collected in 2012 by telephone interviews with 1,643 participants (stage 2) using a balanced 2-stage sampling design. We estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for asthma using logistic regression and correcting for the known sampling fractions from stage 1 to stage 2, overall and sex-stratified. In total, 35,612 (46.5%) individuals were BCG vaccinated, and 5,870 (7.7%) had asthma. The final odds ratio, integrating results from both stages of sampling, was 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.87, 1.04). Results did not differ according to sex (P for interaction = 0.327). To our knowledge, this is the largest study ever conducted on this topic, and using the best possible comprehensive adjustment for confounders, we found no association between BCG vaccination and asthma.


2-stage sampling; administrative data; asthma; bacillus Calmette-Guérin; birth cohort

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