Hepatitis B vaccine and risk of autoimmune thyroid disease: a Vaccine Safety Datalink study


  • Conflict of interest disclosure: Dr Jackson is a consultant for Chiron Therapeutics and Vaccines, and Sanofi Pasteur.



Hepatitis B vaccine has been postulated as a possible cause of autoimmune disorders, including autoimmune thyroid diseases (ATD). Cases of Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, following hepatitis B vaccine have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). To test the hypothesis that hepatitis B vaccine increases the risk of ATD, we conducted a case-control study, within the Vaccine Safety Datalink project.


We identified potential cases of Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, among persons aged 18–69 years from administrative data recorded by three health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and verified cases by medical record review. Controls were frequency-matched to cases by birth year, sex, and study site. Vaccine information was collected from administrative records, chart review, and telephone interviews with study subjects. We enrolled 355 Graves' disease cases, 418 Hashimoto's thyroiditis cases, and 1102 controls. We assessed the association between ever-receipt of hepatitis B vaccine, as well as receipt of hepatitis B vaccine less than 1 year, 1–5 years and at least 5 years prior to the index date, and the risk of ATD.


Ever-receipt of hepatitis B vaccine was not associated with risk of Graves' disease (odds ratio (OR), 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.62–1.32) or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (OR, 1.23; 95%CI, 0.87–1.73). There was also no association between the time interval since receipt of hepatitis B vaccination and either outcome.


We did not observe an increased risk of Graves' disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, following receipt of hepatitis B vaccine. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.