A new study has been published linking autism and vaccination.
Quoted from the abstract:
"The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI."
This could be very interesting if it is the case. However, it seems that the statistical significance only comes after controlling for certain variables (i am not clear on how they were controlled for) and at best show correlation, not causation, as clearly stated in the paper itself.
"...the regression analysis showed association, not causation..."
The study also compared fully vaccinated (receiving the full recommended vaccination series) and non-vaccinated 9where the children may have had all but one of the vaccinations, therefore not completing the series). there were also a lot of variable non accounted for, such as pollution rates in the different states and potential toxins the mothers might have been exposed to while present.
The paper does, in fairness, list most of the limitations in the study. i am curious as to why the analysis was for autism and speech or language impairment rather than just autism. The study claims it is because there is an association between these conditions. I wonder how statistically significant the data would be for just autism.
i have not looked at the data myself, nor done any of my own analyses, but the blog linked below has done the analysis from the data presented and actually shown that there is no significant difference. How the study controlled for this to get statistically significant results is not known and certainly not clearly described in the methods section of the paper. Hmmmm. A clear case for the anti-vax crowd? Nope.
Another thing, while clear evidence has yet to be presented for autism vaccination links, how have the vaccinations improved infant and childhood mortality by limiting the amount of fatal diseases? Does the increase in children surviving to a certain age account for rises in things like autism? i actually don't know the answers to those questions, but i think the benefits of vaccination should be considered in context with "potential" (i.e. un - as yet - evidenced) side-affects.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!