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New Study Finds No Link Between Autism and MMR Vaccine

By    |   Tuesday, 21 April 2015 04:14 PM

Yet another study has concluded there is no link between autism and childhood vaccines.

In one of the largest studies ever conducted of childhood vaccine safety, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health tracked 95,000 children who received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and found it was not associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The researchers also found there was no harmful association between childhood vaccines and ASD even among children already at higher risk for autism, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Although a substantial body of scientific research over the last 15 years has found no link between the MMR vaccine and ASD, some parents and others continue to believe a link exists.

A growing number of parents are opting out of vaccinating their children, which medical authorities say is behind the rise in measles, whooping cough, and other vaccine-preventable and life-threatening diseases in the U.S.

The findings of the new study — led by Anjali Jain, M.D., of the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Va. — underscores the safety of childhood vaccines and provides new, impartial evidence for parents to consider.

"Consistent with studies in other populations, we observed no association between MMR vaccination and increased ASD risk among privately insured children,” the researchers concluded.

“We also found no evidence that receipt of either one or two doses of MMR vaccination was associated with an increased risk of ASD among children who had older siblings with ASD. As the prevalence of diagnosed ASD increases, so does the number of children who have siblings diagnosed with ASD, a group of children who are particularly important as they were undervaccinated in our observations as well as in previous reports."

In an accompanying editorial, Bryan H. King, M.D., of the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, said the findings of the study suggest immunization is safe and effective.

"Some parents of children with ASD may have chosen to delay immunization in subsequent children until they were certain any risk had passed. Such behavior, which arguably could enrich the immunization rate in the non-autism subgroup relative to the group that may have been showing early atypical development, might create the impression that MMR vaccine is actually reducing risk for ASD,” Dr. King said.

“Indeed, Jain et. al. report relative risks of less than 1.0. Even so, short of arguing that MMR vaccine actually reduces the risk of ASD in those who were immunized by age 2 years, the only conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that there is no signal to suggest a relationship between MMR and the development of autism in children with or without a sibling who has autism.

"Taken together, some dozen studies have now shown that the age of onset of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, the severity or course of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, and now the risk of ASD recurrence in families does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children."

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Yet another study has concluded there is no link between autism and childhood vaccines.
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015 04:14 PM
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