McMaster University

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McMaster study named top paper of 2010

Published: February 22, 2011
Mark Loeb
Dr. Mark Loeb, division director of infectious diseases in the Department of Medicine within the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

A McMaster research study showing the community benefit of child vaccination has been chosen as the 2010 research paper of the year by the prestigious science journal The Lancet.

Dr. Mark Loeb, division director of infectious diseases in the Department of Medicine within the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, led a study of Alberta’s Hutterite community investigating the benefits of vaccinating children and adolescents in rural areas against influenza.

The study named The Lancet paper of the year was originally published in March 2010. Loeb and his research team found that giving the flu shot to children and adolescents reduced the incidence of influenza by about 60 per cent in individuals who did not receive the vaccine. They also found that when they looked at the whole community, including the children who were immunized, the overall benefit was about the same.

“We certainly appreciate the recognition by The Lancet readers of the importance of this study about the significance of child immunization on the community,” said Loeb, who has a joint appointment as a professor in the departments of pathology and molecular medicine and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. “We are particularly grateful for the graciousness of the participating Hutterite colonies in assisting in the improvement of the health of many communities.”

Three other McMaster studies were also among the six papers nominated as the international journal’s top paper as voted on by readers. The three papers were all on the role of dabigatran, a reversible direct thrombin inhibitor given orally in people with atrial fibrillation, from the RE-LY Study group. Its steering committee and investigators includes Dr. Salim Yusuf, director of McMaster’s Population Health Research Institute, and Dr. Stuart Connolly, director of Cardiology, Department of Medicine.

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