A re-run of the MMR vaccination - eightfold autism risk

by Nick Anderson.


2002 Danish MMR vaccination - autism study [2], but this time also including children aged five and over, rather than cutting off at four years old, found that the Danish autism rate had in fact risen eightfold over the period since the introduction of the MMR vaccination. [3]

The children aged five and over were added in because, in Denmark, a diagnosis of autism is never made until the age of five, so you would not expect to find any diagnoses of autism in the four and unders. Even were greater awareness and better diagnosis of autism judged to account for half of these cases (a very generous allowance), that would still leave an extremely significant fourfold increased risk.

The researchers accepted that they have not proven a link between MMR and autism, but claimed to have shown that the original study was fundamentally flawed. (which found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccination and autism, and was widely publicised by the UK Department of Health).

A re-analysis of just the data used by the original 2002 Danish study by Dr Samy Suissa of McGill University in Montreal (Canada) [4] came up with an even more astonishing result. Contrary to the original ‘no link’ finding, diagnoses of autism within two years of an MMR vaccination increased to a high of 27.3 cases per 100,000 children compared with just 1.45 cases per 100,000 in non-vaccinated children. The children who had had the MMR vaccination were 45% more likely to have developed autism than the children who had not had the MMR vaccination.

A recent study by Dr Andrew Wakefield (who first suggested (1998) a possible link between the MMR vaccination and ‘regressive autism', where a child developing normally suddenly begins to regress) and Dr Carol Stott of Cambridge University showed that autism cases in Denmark had increased by 14.8% each year since MMR jabs were introduced. [5]

None of the above won any mainstream media attention.

Research or propaganda?
A recent study [1] which found no evidence of a link between MMR and autism was widely trumpeted by the media. It compared 1,294 children diagnosed with autism or other pervasive development disorders (PDDs) between 1987 and 2001 in England and Wales with 4,469 children of the same sex and similar age who were registered with the same general practices but did not have a recorded diagnosis of autism. Around 80% of both the autism and non-autism groups had received an MMR jab.

The validity of this MMR vaccination study has been challenged. It was based on the UK General Practitioner Research Database (diagnostic reports from GPs), whose validity as a basis for epidemiological research has been widely criticised. It stands accused in particular of massively under-reporting diseases like autism. These are often diagnosed by educational specialists rather than GPs so, inevitably, are not included in the GP database.

None of these studies differentiated between autism in general and the ‘regressive autism’ highlighted by Dr Wakefield and others, where a child whose neurological development appears to be normal starts to regress (about 10% of autism cases). Several questions need to be answered:

and going back in MMR history ...

Can there any longer be doubt that the medical establishment wants to obscure any possible link between ‘regressive autism’ and the MMR jab?

Dr Dick van Steenis believes that ‘regressive autism’ is most likely when a Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT) jab, which until 2004 contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, is followed closely by the MMR jab. He calls for a study based on real children (rather than more or less accurately compiled databases) which compares children with ‘regressive autism’* to healthy children, dividing them into four groups: unvaccinated; vaccinated with the Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT) jab only; vaccinated with MMR only; vaccinated with the Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT) jab then vaccinated with MMR.

* i.e. not general autism, which can be caused by many factors.

[1] Madsen et al. New England Journal of Medicine 2002;347(19):1477-82
[2] Goldman,GS and Yazbak,FE. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2004;9(3):70-75
[3] Stott,C et al. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2004;9(3):89-91
[4] ibid
[5] Smeeth,L et al. Lancet 2004;364:963-9

(11131) Nick Anderson. GreenHealthWatch

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