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New study re Autism.

(9 Posts)
lou33 Sat 11-Oct-03 13:06:13

I just wondered if anyone has seen the article about the Danish study concluding no link between thimerosal and autism? I can set up a link for it if anyone is interested, though I don't want to start a heated debate!

lou33 Sat 11-Oct-03 13:12:08

Here's the lnk anyway just in case. Am off to clean now.

Danish study

Jimjams Sat 11-Oct-03 13:16:55

Can't get it, but the radio link on the health page (thread is something like thimerosil aluminium etc) goes into this and there is also another link to an article explaining why this study is bollards. I'll try and link to that article later.

lou33 Sat 11-Oct-03 13:22:01

In that case here you are then. I just wondered if it was useful to read, don't want to annoy anyone.

Danish study finds no link between thimerosal and autism
Data show that the incidence of autism continued to rise in the 1990s in Denmark after use of the preservative had ended.

October 2003

Autism Rates in Denmark


Autism rates began to climb in 1991, but continued to rise through 2000, even after thimerosal use was discontinued in 1992.

Source: Pediatrics. 2003;112(3):604-606.

Autism rates continued to rise in Denmark throughout the 1990s after thimerosal use was discontinued — an indication that the preservative was not to blame for a rise in new autism cases, according to a review of population-based data in Denmark.

Thimerosal has become a convenient target of vaccine critics, who have claimed that exposure to the mercury-based preservative may trigger neurodevelopmental damage (including autism) in some children. Excessive mercury exposure is known to be unsafe for young children, and speculation rose in the mid-1990s that the total mercury content through thimerosal in the childhood immunization schedule could exceed unsafe levels.

A 1999 recommendation handed down from the U.S. Public Health Service, and endorsed by the AAP, called for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines in the United States. Although the bacteriostatic agent is no longer used in U.S. vaccines, it is still used by vaccine manufacturers in many countries, as no studies to date have convincingly proved a link between thimerosal exposure and autism.

The move to reduce thimerosal from vaccines was paralleled in several countries around the world, including several European nations.

It has been suggested that removal of thimerosal from all vaccines would lead to a decrease in autism rates. However, a group of Danish researchers examining data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Center, which records all psychiatric admissions, found ecological trends moving in the opposite direction.


No decreased rates
A total of 956 children were diagnosed with autism between 1971 and 2000. The incidence of autism remained relatively flat in all age groups from 1971 through 1990 – a period during which thimerosal-containing vaccines were a regular part of childhood immunization in Denmark.

The rates began to climb in 1991, but continued to rise through 2000, even after thimerosal use was discontinued in 1992. Rates of autism also increased in Denmark in children born after 1992, further suggesting that thimerosal was not to blame for increasing autism rates, the study said.

Autism rates peaked in Denmark among children age 2 to 4 and in children 5 to 6 in 1999, corresponding to children born between 1993 and 1997, the study said.


Other studies
The Danish study is the latest evidence against a link between thimerosal and autism. A study last year found that ethylmercury, found in thimerosal, is excreted by the body rather quickly, and probably before it can cross the blood-brain barrier to cause neurodevelopmental damage. Meanwhile, there is a growing body of evidence that ethylmercury has different effects on the body than methylmercury.

Several reports supporting a link between thimerosal and autism used methylmercury intoxication as a measuring stick because it was originally believed that methylmercury and ethylmercury had similar effects on the body. As well, some of the signs and symptoms of methylmercury intoxication are similar to those seen in autism.

The Danish study is similar to studies conducted in the United Kingdom, where an increased autism rate has been noted. The U.K. studies found no correlation between thimerosal exposure and neurodevelopmental damage.

For more information:
Madsen K, Lauritsen M, Pedersen C, et al. Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data. Pediatrics. 2003;112(3): 604-606.

lou33 Sat 11-Oct-03 13:22:33

lol@bollards btw!

Jimjams Sat 11-Oct-03 13:26:02

NO wasn't annyed lou- thanks for posting. If thimerosil was a big issue here the govt would be singing and dancing about this great new study,w whilst dismissing Wakefiled's work as "pseudoscience" - it stinks thats all.

Bollards I say I'm off to find that link....

Jimjams Sat 11-Oct-03 13:34:38

Here's the previous thread:

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk?topicid=138&threadid=11513&stamp=030930145145

Looks like I may have been confused about the danish study in question. The radio show is well worth listening to. It's yet another epidemiological study though, when will these people start to actually look at the children in question rather than spend their time manipulating population stats?

One question I'd still like answered is if there is no link between mercury and autism why do autistic children store significantly lower levels of mercury in their hair? Where has the rest of mercury gone? brain perhaps? Nah I'll just ignore that and do an epidemiological study- I can get the answer I want then.

nothing like knowing the answer before the research is started is there?

lou33 Sat 11-Oct-03 15:16:46

It's typical isn't it. We can't find an answer so will ignore and deny. I will read the link when I can concentrate a bit better. Hope you are having a good weekend.

robinw Sun 12-Oct-03 08:55:35

message withdrawn

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