Study: MMR Vaccine Doesn’t Increase Autism Risk
A new study of over 95,000 kids finds no link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, even among those at higher risk for the developmental disorder.
Despite consensus within the medical community, many parents remain concerned about a link between vaccines and autism. The study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, however, further debunks the theory.
Researchers looked at health insurance records on 95,727 children, including over 1,900 considered to be at high risk for autism because they had an older sibling with the developmental disorder.
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They found that children who were vaccinated were not any more likely to develop autism than those who did not get immunized.
What’s more, among younger siblings of those on the spectrum, the relative risk for autism was actually lower in those who were vaccinated, the study found.
“Consistent with studies in other populations, we observed no association between MMR vaccination and increased ASD risk,” wrote lead author Anjali Jain of the Falls Church, Va. health care consulting firm Lewin Group and her colleagues in their findings. “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.”
The research — which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — follows renewed concern about the implications of people shunning vaccines as the number of measles cases rose earlier this year.
Though measles was considered to be eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, there have been 162 cases of measles coast to coast so far in 2015 and most of those affected were not vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.