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Functional disability and antibody response to influenza vaccine in elderly patients in a Dutch nursing home

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7037.1015 (Published 20 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1015
  1. E J Remarque, research fellowa,
  2. H J M Cools, professorb,
  3. T J Boere, medical studenta,
  4. R J van der Klis, research techniciana,
  5. N Masurel, professorc,
  6. G J Ligthart, senior investigatora
  1. a Section of Gerontology, Department of Pathology, Leiden University Hospital, Building 1 P3-Q, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, Netherlands
  2. b Section of Dutch Nursing Home Medicine, Department of General Practice, Leiden University, PO Box 2088, 2301 RC Leiden
  3. c WHO National Influenza Centre for the Netherlands, Department of Virology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Remarque.
  • Accepted 9 January 1996

Serological studies have yielded conflicting results about the antibody response to influenza vaccines in elderly people1—hence the association of advanced age with declined protection is in question. Differences in subjects' state of health may be one reason for the divergent findings.1 2 We therefore investigated the influence of chronic disease, drug treatment, and functional disability on the immune response to influenza vaccine in elderly people.

Subjects, methods, and results

Influenza vaccine was offered to all of the patients in one nursing home in Delft, the Netherlands, who were not terminally ill. A total of 175 patients gave their informed consent and were included in the study. Their mean age was 82 (SD 7), and 133 patients were women. The study was approved by the …

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