A new series of Improvement Science and Method Seminars led by Zahid Asghar, senior lecturer in health, began with our first workshop on 19 October 2012. Zahid led the attendees, which included academic and health service staff working with the Community and Health Research Group, through case-control studies and touched on the self-controlled case series method. There have been only forty or so studies published using this novel method in the worldwide literature including one study published by the team last year in the prestigious Vaccine: Gwini SM, Coupland C, Siriwardena AN. The effect of influenza vaccination on risk of acute myocardial infarction: self-controlled case-series study. Vaccine 2011; 29: 1145-1149.
Zahid is currently working on an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit study looking at the possible association between influenza or pneumococcal vaccination and stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) (IPVASTIA), which he used to illustrate the two study types. There have been a number of studies investigating the link between respiratory infections as a trigger for heart attack or stroke and the possible protective effect of influenza vaccination including a study published by the group in the Canadian Medical Association Journal two years ago: Siriwardena AN, Gwini S, Coupland C. Influenza vaccination, pneumococcal vaccination, and the risk of acute myocardial infarction: matched case-control study. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2010; 182 (15): 1617- 1623.