MMR AND AUTISM:  The link really has been established (WDDTY Sept 2004)

A new study has confirmed a definite causal link between the MMR (measles,
mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism - and it has used the same data employed
by an earlier study that governments have relied on to deny the link.

The vaccine increases the risk of autism by 850 per cent, or nearly 500 per
cent if we allow for greater diagnostic awareness, one of the major
arguments put forward for the sudden increase in autism.

This conclusion contradicts that of the Madsen study carried out in 2002,
which found no link, and which governments have gratefully clung to ever

So why the enormous discrepancy between the two trials?  Autism is usually
diagnosed only at age 5 or older, or it is in Denmark from where the data
for both studies has been gleaned.  The Madsen study monitored the progress
of vaccinated children in Denmark only for four years, so it's hardly
surprising that few, if any, cases of autism were established.  Less severe
cases, which might have become apparent even later, were certainly not
included in the findings.

The new study, carried out by American paediatrician Dr Fouad Yazbak and Dr
G S Goldman, tracks levels of autism in Denmark from 1980 - seven years
before the MMR vaccine was introduced in Denmark - until 2002.  Prevalence
of autism among children aged from 5 to 9 stood at 8.38 cases per 100,000 in
the pre-vaccine years of 1980 to 1986, and then rose to 71.43 cases by the
year 2000.

Dr Samy Suissa of McGill University had similar problems with the Madsen
study.  When he analysed the statistics he discovered that the rate of
autism increases to a high of 27.3 cases per 100,000 two years after
vaccination compared with just 1.45 cases in non-vaccinated children.

No doubt in the spirit of the public's right to know, government officials
will be broadcasting the latest findings as loudly as they did the Madsen
conclusions.  Strangely, they have been silent thus far.

(Sources:  Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 2004; 3: 70-5; New
England Journal of Medicine, 2002; 347: 1477-82).