The Centers for Disease Control issued an alarming report: 1 in 88 US children are afflicted with autism–an increase of 25% between 2006-2008.
On March 29, 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control reported startling evidence: the number of children diagnosed with autism in the United States increased 25% between 2006 and 2008. The autism rate jumped from 1 in 100 (2006) to 1 in 88 children (2008). The autism rate is even higher for boys: one in 54 compared to girls, one in 252.
This CDC report was featured as headline news throughout the media–but not The New York Times, which buried the CDC news report on page A20.
Yesterday, The Times published on its front page an article under the headline, “Scientists Link Gene Mutation To Autism Risk,” reporting that three teams of scientists found several rare spontaneous gene mutations in a few individuals with autism whose father was over age 35. The scientists suspect that such gene mutations may result in a 5 to 20 times higher risk of developing autism.
“The gene mutations are extremely rare and together account for a tiny fraction of autism cases, suggesting that the search for therapies will be a long one, and that what is loosely known as autism may represent a broad category of related but biologically distinct conditions. There are likely hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rare mutations that could disrupt brain development enough to result in social and developmental delays.”
If rare gene mutations are suspected to be the cause of 5% to, at most, 20% autism, it leaves the most important questions unanswered:
What about the cause of autism in 80% (possibly 95%) of autistic children unanswered?
To date, only the MMR vaccine and mercury in vaccines have been studied.
With so many millions of children affected by autism–and the spiraling increase in that number–shouldn’t scientists take seriously the eye witness reports by thousands of parents who blame vaccines for triggering autistic spectrum in their previously healthy children?
There is a pressing need to examine without prejudice whether the vaccine-autism association is valid by comparing autism (and other health) outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children.
Why is such an obviously necessary research approach so contentious and, therefore, neglected?
Whose financial investments are threatened by an analysis of data comparing the health of children vaccinated with those not vaccinated?
Read the Full Article Here: http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/841/9/
Unvaccinated Children Madness
Dan Olmsted: Has the government ever looked at the autism rate in an unvaccinated U.S. population, and if not, why not?
Julie Gerberding: In this country, we have very high levels of vaccination as you probably know, and I think this year we have record immunization levels among all of our children, so to (select an unvaccinated group) that on a population basis would be representative to look at incidence in that population compared to the other population would be something that could be done.
But as we’re learning, just trying to look at autism in a community the size of Atlanta, it’s very, very difficult to get an effective numerator and denominator to get a reliable diagnosis.
I think those kind of studies could be done and should be done. You’d have to adjust for the strong genetic component that also distinguishes, for example, people in Amish communities who may elect not to be immunized (and) also have genetic connectivity that would make them different from populations that are in other sectors of the United States. So drawing some conclusions from them would be very difficult.
I think with reference to the timing of all of this, good science does take time, and it’s part of one of the messages I feel like I’ve learned from the feedback that we’ve gotten from parents groups this summer (in) struggling with developing a more robust and a faster research agenda, is let’s speed this up. Let’s look for the early studies that could give us at least some hypotheses to test and evaluate and get information flowing through the research pipeline as quickly as we can.
So we are committed to doing that, and as I mentioned, in terms of just measuring the frequency of autism in the population some pretty big steps have been taken. We’re careful not to jump ahead of our data, but we think we will be able to provide more accurate information in the next year or so than we’ve been able to do up to this point. And I know that is our responsibility.
We’ve also benefited from some increased investments in these areas that have allowed us to do this, and so we thank Congress and we thank the administration for supporting those investments, not just at CDC but also at NIH and FDA.
I’m sure Julie Gerberding had a point with her answer, for the life of me I don’t know what it was.
Not to be outdone, Dr. Paul Offit recently got into the act with his own perspective on studying unvaccinated children (at least he concedes the studies don’t exist):
“No studies have compared the incidence of autism in vaccinated, unvaccinated, or alternatively vaccinated children (i.e., schedules that spread out vaccines, avoid combination vaccines, or include only select vaccines). These studies would be difficult to perform because of the likely differences among these 3 groups in health care seeking behavior and the ethics of experimentally studying children who have not received vaccines.”
Health care seeking behavior? Ethics of studying kids who haven’t gotten vaccines?
Let me get this straight: we have the most complex and raging health epidemic amongst our kids in modern times, and no plausible explanation for cause from the mainstream authorities. Meanwhile, we have tens of thousands of case reports of kids regressing into autism after vaccination, but it’s just too complicated and unethical to study unvaccinated kids?
“Health care seeking behavior” is the notion that parents who do not vaccinate their children may be less inclined to seek an autism diagnosis if there is a problem with their child’s development. Fair enough, that MAY be true. But, in a well-designed study that issue could be dealt with in a very straightforward way: you independently evaluate every single kid for neurological disorders. Would that be expensive? Yes. Would it be thorough? Yes. Would it mitigate any issues related to health seeking behavior? Yes.
It’s also interesting to consider a study completed by the CDC and published in Pediatrics, Children Who Have Received No Vaccines: Who Are They and Where Do They Live? The study noted:
“Unvaccinated children tended to be white, to have a mother who was married and had a college degree, to live in a household with an annual income exceeding $75,000, and to have parents who expressed concerns regarding the safety of vaccines and indicated that medical doctors have little influence over vaccination decisions for their children.”
And, it continues:
“Why do some parents avoid vaccinating their children? Our results indicate that parents of unvaccinated children are much more concerned about vaccine safety than are parents whose children receive 1 vaccine dose. In a survey of parent’s beliefs and practices regarding vaccinations and autism, siblings in families in which there was an autistic child were 3 times more likely to be unvaccinated, compared with siblings in families in which there was a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In response to concerns about the perceived risk of autism resulting from vaccinations, parents might have avoided having their sons vaccinated at a higher rate than their daughters, as a result of knowing that they have risk factors for autism and knowing that the rate of autism is 4 times greater for boys than for girls.”
What are the chances that white, upper middle-class families with an annual income in excess of $75,000 who are very concerned about vaccine safety don’t pursue an autism diagnosis if their child is exhibiting the signs of autism? Probably close to nil, but science can still account for that.
Read the Full Article Here: http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/02/unvaccinated-children-madness.html
Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children: Some Data are In and They are Disturbing
While in western countries government officials and their corporate sponsors aggressively resist conducting the studies comparing health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children , such studies have been, in fact, conducted in Africa. Below is the abstract of one such study from Guinea-Bissau, which shows doubling of mortality rate among infants vaccinated with a single dose of DTP vaccine, and more than quadrupling after the second and third dose. VAERS data also show high infant mortality in the US after DTP vaccination (much higher than from pertussis, diphteria and tetanus together, hence it is clear that DTP vaccine is harming more children than saving. In the EU, there is a relatively high incidence of pertussis (more than 20 000 per year), but total mortality due to this disease was 4 in 2009. At the same time, infant mortality index in western EU countries is 2 or 3 times lower than in the US. These data speak for themselves.
Int J Epidemiol. 2004 Apr;33(2):374-80.
Bandim Health Project, Apartado 861, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: and objective Previous studies from areas with high mortality in West Africa have not found diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine to be associated with the expected reduction in mortality, a few studies suggesting increased mortality. We therefore examined mortality when DTP was first introduced in rural areas of Guinea-Bissau in 1984-1987. Setting Twenty villages in four regions have been followed with bi-annual examinations since 1979.
SUBJECTS: In all, 1657 children aged 2-8 months. Design Children were weighed when attending the bi-annual examinations and they were vaccinated whenever vaccines were available. DTP was introduced in the beginning of 1984, oral polio vaccine later that year. We examined mortality for children aged 2-8 months who had received DTP and compared them with children who had not been vaccinated because they were absent, vaccines were not available, or they were sick.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mortality over the next 6 months from the day of examination for vaccinated and unvaccinated children.
RESULTS: Prior to the introduction of vaccines, children who were absent at a village examination had the same mortality as children who were present. During 1984-1987, children receiving DTP at 2-8 months of age had higher mortality over the next 6 months, the mortality rate ratio (MR) being 1.92 (95% CI: 1.04, 3.52) compared with DTP-unvaccinated children, adjusting for age, sex, season, period, BCG, and region. The MR was 1.81 (95% CI: 0.95, 3.45) for the first dose of DTP and 4.36 (95% CI: 1.28, 14.9) for the second and third dose. BCG was associated with slightly lower mortality (MR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.30, 1.33), the MR for DTP and BCG being significantly inversed. Following subsequent visits and further vaccinations with DTP and measles vaccine, there was no difference in vaccination coverage and subsequent mortality between the DTP-vaccinated group and the initially DTP-unvaccinated group (MR = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.78, 1.44).
CONCLUSIONS: In low-income countries with high mortality, DTP as the last vaccine received may be associated with slightly increased mortality. Since the pattern was inversed for BCG, the effect is unlikely to be due to higher-risk children having received vaccination. The role of DTP in high mortality areas needs to be clarified.
PMID: 15082643 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]