The Journal of the American Medical Association published a new study based on over 95,000 subjects that concluded there was no link between vaccines and autism. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
On the heels of a measles outbreak in California fueled by vaccination fears that scientists call unfounded, another large study has shown no link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.
The study examined insurance claims for 96,000 U.S. children born between 2001 and 2007, and found that those who received MMR vaccine didn’t develop autism at a higher rate than unvaccinated children, according to results published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA. Even children who had older siblings with autism—a group considered at high risk for the disorder—didn’t have increased odds of developing autism after receiving the vaccine, compared with unvaccinated children with autistic older siblings.
“These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD,” the researchers wrote, using the acronym for autism spectrum disorders. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.....
The study’s authors analyzed insurance claims from the Optum Research Database, which is run by a unit of insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. They identified 96,000 children in the database with older siblings, and determined how many of those children and older siblings had received autism diagnoses on claims forms. They also used the claim forms to determine whether the children had received MMR vaccine, and compared autism rates in the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups as a whole, and in children with older siblings with and without autism.
Fred Volkmar, an autism expert at the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said the study benefited from a large sample size and “well done analyses.” In an email, he said he hoped the study would “contribute to putting to rest the myth that immunizations cause autism!”...Rest of article.
The actual study can be found here. Here are some excerpts from the study:
In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD.....