More evidence is accumulating on the link between rubella immunization and the development of arthralgia or arthritis.
In a recent randomized, placebo controlled trial, 30 per cent of women given the rubella vaccine developed acute, short term joint problems, as opposed to 20 per cent given a placebo.
The groups were followed up at one, three, six, nine and 12 months after immunizations.
Although the gap between the two groups in terms of severity of symptoms did narrow over time, the authors still conclude that some women are more susceptible and may experience arthritic symptoms after rubella immunization (Lancet, 1997; 349: 1277-81).
For more information on rubella see WDDTY vol 7 no 3, vol 5 no 6, vol 1 no 1 and the Vaccination Bible.