Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, January 6, 2011

Journal: Study linking vaccine to autism was fraud

January 6, 2011

Advertisement

— The first study to link a childhood vaccine to autism was based on doctored information about the children involved, according to a new report on the widely discredited research.

The conclusions of the 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was renounced by 10 of its 13 authors and later retracted by the medical journal Lancet, where it was published. Still, the suggestion the MMR shot was connected to autism spooked parents worldwide and immunization rates for measles, mumps and rubella have never fully recovered.

A new examination found, by comparing the reported diagnoses in the paper to hospital records, that Wakefield and colleagues altered facts about patients in their study.

The analysis, by British journalist Brian Deer, found that despite the claim in Wakefield’s paper that the 12 children studied were normal until they had the MMR shot, five had previously documented developmental problems. Deer also found that all the cases were somehow misrepresented when he compared data from medical records and the children’s parents.

Wakefield could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls and requests to the publisher of his recent book, which claims there is a connection between vaccines and autism that has been ignored by the medical establishment. Wakefield now lives in the U.S. where he enjoys a vocal following including celebrity supporters like Jenny McCarthy.

Deer’s article was paid for by the Sunday Times of London and Britain’s Channel 4 television network. It was published online today in the medical journal BMJ.

In an accompanying editorial, BMJ editor Fiona Godlee and colleagues called Wakefield’s study “an elaborate fraud.” They said Wakefield’s work in other journals should be examined to see if it should be retracted.

Last May, Wakefield was stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain. Many other published studies have shown no connection between the MMR vaccination and autism.

But measles has surged since Wakefield’s paper was published and there are sporadic outbreaks in Europe and the U.S. In 2008, measles was deemed endemic in England and Wales.

Comments

LoveThsLife 3 years, 3 months ago

The issue I have with Jenny McCarthy is that she continues to peddle her book about her son's "recovery from autism".

In fact, Generation Rescue continues to sell signed copies.

The same organization also continues to stand by Wakefield's research, sad that some desperate parents might reach out to such an organization.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

And in the time since that study, it has been refuted by dozens of other larger scale studies. I feel for parents that have autistic kids, but I've never understood how many stood by this study when it has been shot down repeatedly. Granted, I don't have an autistic kid and have not been in this situation.

Also, if Jenny McCarthy is the spokesperson for a cause, it better be for vodka, breast implants, or hair bleaching products.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

"I totally see where your coming from- but she was following accepted medical research that turned out to be fraudulent."

Whoa whoa whoa. It was one medical study with 13 research subjects (three of which didn't even have autism). Granted, The Lancet published it, but this was an extremely small study and was far from medically accepted.

0

Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't unload all my fire on this fellow. After all, he wasn't the "journalist" desperate to print exciting, novel, and controversial "news" about complicated topics that he/she knew nothing about themselves so that a poorly educated, credulous public could lap up the shocking theory.

Journalists need to stop with false balance of 'round earth/flat earth' reporting as a desperate attempt to avoid being branded as biased by the biased! It's one thing to report conventional wisdom as fact when it's incorrect but quite another to report demonstrable falsehoods as an alternative viewpoint.

0

Paul R Getto 3 years, 3 months ago

Most who understand science rejected these claims long ago, but it takes a while sometimes to expose the frauds. Perhaps this will encourage some of the holdouts to get shots for their kids.

0

ivalueamerica 3 years, 3 months ago

how many children have been sickened or died from preventable childhood diseases around the world due to this fake study?

0

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Repeating the ravings of a quack doesn't make you an expert. It makes you a credulous dupe.

0

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 3 months ago

Where is our proliffic local letter-writer & squeaky wheel L.W. today?

Will she acknowledge she and her anti-virus brethren have increased preventable childhood illnesses? :

"Vaccination rates dropped sharply in Britain after its publication, falling as low as 80% by 2004. Measles cases have gone up sharply in the ensuing years. In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

0

RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 3 months ago

Besides that, everyone has seen her hoo-ha.

0

mbulicz 3 years, 3 months ago

In other news, water is wet, rice is white, and Bruce Willis was dead the whole movie.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

"She does have an autistic kid...and when your kid has a condition, a good mother becomes an expert on it."

Um, she's been lambasted by every single medical expert in the field for her bat guano beliefs.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

"Wow. I wonder what this guy had to gain by falsifying the research."

About $680,000 from lawyers that wanted lawsuits. There are longer articles on this out on the interwebs.

0

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

What? Do you mean Jenny McCarthy isn't a medical expert? Inconceivable!

0

none2 3 years, 3 months ago

This guy should have to go to jail for a very long time.

0

Liberty_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow. I wonder what this guy had to gain by falsifying the research.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

This still won't shut up the anti-vaccine crowd. TheYeti knows what he speaks of.

0

Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 3 months ago

Unreal! Autism is a condition that needs further research, and falsified studies only detract from finding the truth.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.