Supplementary Material for: Effect of Influenza Vaccination on Risk of Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

<i>Background:</i> Despite the presence of a strong association between influenza infection and stroke, whether influenza vaccination reduces the risk of stroke is yet a matter of controversy. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether influenza vaccination protects against stroke. <i>Methods:</i> We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from database inception date to November 18, 2016, without language restrictions, to identify studies investigating the effect of influenza vaccination on subsequent risk of stroke. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the risk of stroke in overall and subgroup analyses and calculated a pooled OR for developing stroke with a 95% CI. Publication bias was assessed by Begg's rank correlation test. <i>Results:</i> Eleven studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. In a random-effects model, vaccinated individuals had a decreased risk of stroke compared with unvaccinated individuals (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.75-0.91; <i>p</i> < 0.001). The relationship between influenza vaccination and stroke risk remained robust in subgroup analyses. The significant effect of influenza vaccination was associated with ascertainment of vaccination status and stage of prevention. <i>Conclusion:</i> Vaccination against influenza is associated with a lower risk of stroke. Well-designed prospective studies are needed to provide stronger evidence of the protective effect of influenza vaccination against stroke.

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