Categories
Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

MMR vaccination is not associated with autism, take ∞

Yet another huge epidemiological study finds no association between vaccination with MMR and autism. Same as it ever was. That doesn’t stop a particularly clueless antivaxer from trying to “refute” it, to hilariously inept results.

The last few months have been rough for antivaxers. There have been several large measles outbreaks associated with low MMR vaccine uptake around the US. According to the CDC, thus far in 2019 there are six outbreaks, three in New York (New York City, Rockland County, and Monroe County), as well as outbreaks in Washington, Texas, and Illinois, for a total of 206 cases thus far this year. As a result, there has been a backlash against them, with antivaxers have been getting a lot of criticism, and the press and politicians are turning against them. Their recent ranting (in November and just last week) s at the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Pratices (ACIP) are being portrayed as unhinged cranks harassing scientists (which they are). States like Washington are considering bills to eliminate philosophical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, while pressure from the public and legislators has resulted in social media platforms trying to limit the spread of antivaccine movement and streaming services like Amazon Prime and YouTube removing or demonetizing antivaccine content. Just yesterday, Ethan Lindenberger whose parents were antivaccine and didn’t have him vaccinated as a child and who, upon turning 18, got himself caught up on the vaccines he had missed, testified in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor, and Pensions, which was holding a session on measles outbreaks and vaccine hesitancy. To top it off, just yesterday yet another in a long line of studies has emphatically shown that there is no detectable correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Not surprisingly, this study was not received warmly by antivaxers, probably because it was very much like the proverbial adding insult to injury. After all, we already knew that MMR doesn’t cause autism. There are lots of studies that failed to find a link, lots of excellent studies. The timing of this study, however, although probably coincidental. For instance, antivaxer James Lyons-Weiler (whom I’ve written about before on this blog several times before) laid down a huge swath of burning stupid criticizing the study that will be very fun to deconstruct. First, however, let’s look at the study itself. It’s a particularly damning study to the antivaccine fantasy started by lawyers seeking to sue vaccine companies in the UK in the 1990s and stoked to the pseudoscience that launched a thousand antivaccine quacks (at least) 21 years ago with Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent case series published in The Lancet.

The first thing you should know is that this is a followup study to a an earlier large study from Denmark published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 that failed to find a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism, a study colloquially known in the vaccine world as the “Danish study.” One of the advantages that Denmark has when it comes to doing studies like this is that it has a national health system and database that allows researchers to examine data from every single child in the country. In brief, the design of this study was a cohort study of all children born in Denmark of Danish-born mothers from 1 January 1999 through 31 December 2010. Researchers sourced the study cohort from the Danish Civil Registration System, which assigns a unique personal identification number to all people living in Denmark and keeps track of basic demographic information for each person. Because this unique identifier is use in all other Danish national registries, it allows for individual-level linkage of health related information. In this case, the linkage was between vaccinations and autism diagnoses. The Danish vaccination schedule involves a first dose of MMR at 15 months and a second dose at 12 years of age. Since 2008, that second dose has been given at 4 years of age.

Autism on autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in the study period was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, which the authors described thusly:

Child psychiatrists diagnose and assign diagnostic codes for this register, which contains information from psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric wards (inpatients and outpatients in the study period). The coding classification used in the study period was the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision; we used the codes F84.0 (autistic disorder), F84.1 (atypical autism), F84.5 (Asperger syndrome), F84.8 (other pervasive developmental disorder), and F84.9 (unspecified pervasive developmental disorder). We defined our main study outcome of autism as a diagnosis of any of these autism spectrum disorders.

They also excluded syndromes and conditions with an inherent increased risk for autism (fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Prader–Willi syndrome, and congenital rubella syndrome) if the condition was diagnosed before their first birthday. In addition, extensive adjustment was made for confounders based on a literature review of risk factors for autism, which ended up including maternal age, paternal age, smoking during pregnancy, method of delivery, preterm birth, 5-minute Apgar score, low birthweight, and head circumference. Again, one of the advantages of the Danish medical system is that these variables could be obtained from the Danish Birth Registry, which includes information on the parents and the newborn, pregnancy, date of birth, multiple births, gestational age, and vital status and other physical characteristics of the newborn.

One of the strengths of this study is how the authors were able to examine subgroups of children. It’s almost as though they were aware of the common antivaccine argument used to explain away the results of studies that failed to find a correlation between vaccination and autism. You’ve probably heard it before, the claim that there are certain “susceptible groups” who are at risk for “vaccine-induced autism” that aren’t picked up in large population-based epidemiological studies. Hence:

The main goal of our modeling strategy was to evaluate whether the MMR vaccine increases the risk for autism in children, subgroups of children, and time periods after vaccination. We defined subgroups according to 1) sibling history of autism (“genetic susceptibility”), sex, birth cohort, and prior vaccinations in the first year of life and 2) a summary index estimated from a disease risk model combining multiple environmental risk factors. The motivation for a summary index was that the combination of several factors each associated with only a moderate risk increase in autism had the potential of identifying children at higher risk through multiple risk factors, in contrast to many stratified analyses of single moderate risk factors.

So what were the results? Well, first, remember how big this study was, involving, as it did, a cohort of 657,461 January 1, 2000 through August 31, 2013. During that time, 6,517 children were diagnosed with autism (incidence rate, 129.7 per 100,000 person-years). Second, the overall result kind of amused me:

Comparing MMR-vaccinated with MMR-unvaccinated children yielded a fully adjusted aHR of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.02). The test for homogeneity of aHRs in the age intervals 1 to 3, 3 to 5, 5 to 7, 7 to 10, and more than 10 years of age yielded a P value of 0.138.

Basically, the overall result found a 7% decreased risk of autism in children vaccinated with MMR. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the results show that vaccines protect against autism. For one thing the result was not statistically significant, although even if it were it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the MMR protected against autism. What it does mean is that in this study there really, really, really wasn’t an association between MMR vaccination and autism. They also found no time period after vaccination during which there was an increased risk of autism associated with MMR vaccine.

Basically, there was also no correlation between MMR vaccination and autism in any of the subgroups, either. These subgroups were defined according to sibling history of autism, autism risk factors (based on a the aforementioned disease risk score), or other childhood vaccinations, or during specified time periods after vaccination. Basically, there was not a whiff of a hint of suggestion of a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism diagnoses—not in the whole population, not in any of the high risk subgroups. This study produced zero, zilch, nada in the way of support for a link between vaccination with MMR and autism. This is about as resoundingly negative a study as you can imagine.

As the authors concluded:

We found no support for the hypothesis of increased risk for autism after MMR vaccination in a nationwide unselected population of Danish children; no support for the hypothesis of MMR vaccination triggering autism in susceptible subgroups characterized by environmental and familial risk factors; and no support for a clustering of autism cases in specific time periods after MMR vaccination.

Next, they addressed criticisms by antivaxers, and they did it so well that I think it worth quoting rather extensively:

A concern about observational studies is that they do not often take into account the possibility of MMR vaccination triggering autism in susceptible subgroups of children. The large number of cases in our study allowed us to define subgroups with sufficient statistical power for useful inference. Specific definitions of susceptible subgroups have been lacking. We defined subgroups according to environmental and familial risk factors for autism. We are only aware of 1 previous study taking a similar approach: A U.S. study by Jain and colleagues (3) evaluated the association between MMR and autism according to sibling history of autism. Those researchers found no support for an association in children with a sibling history of autism, but identified lower MMR uptake rates in children with affected siblings, a potentially important public health issue with increasing autism prevalence and supported by other studies (21).

Another frequent criticism of observational studies of MMR vaccination and autism is a perceived failure to take into account the existence of specific autism phenotypes associated with vaccination, such as regressive autism. Our analysis of specific time periods after vaccination does not support a regressive phenotype triggered by vaccination with excessive clustering of cases in the subsequent period, and no other studies have been able to substantiate the existence of this phenotype (22).

A general criticism of observational vaccine effect studies is that they do not include a completely unvaccinated group of children (23). The number of children completely unvaccinated throughout childhood will be low in a country such as Denmark. We evaluated the association between MMR and autism in children with no DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccinations in the first year of life; we found no support for an association in this vaccine-naive subpopulation.

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Of course, antivaxers gonna antivax, and it wasn’t long before James Lyons-Weiler, who’s known for his antivaccine stylings, his participating in a “vaxed versus unvaxed” study in a state in the midst of a large measles outbreak, took part in an antivaccine quackfest recently, and, hilariously, once battled Leslie Manookian for the title of most antivaccine crank. Less than a day after the study hit the press, he published what he called An Autopsy on Hviid et al. 2019’s MMR/Vaccine Science-Like Activities. it’s an example of handwaving at its finest. Hilariously, the term “science-like activity” doesn’t even apply to Lyons-Weiler, because what he does isn’t even science-like:

The burnt ends on this brisket are obvious. Just like all the past studies on the MMR/autism question, the study focuses on one vaccine. This is a problem because the variable they call “genetic risk” (having an older sibling), which is the most significant variable, is confounded with health user bias (there is no control over vaccine cessation). It’s an important variable, but genetic risk of what? Of autism? Or of autism following vaccination? It’s impossible to tell because the study never tests a VACCINE x FAMILY HISTORY interaction term. Or any other interaction term that includes vaccines.

This is very much like what antivaxers do when they invoke the “toxins” gambit. If one individual toxin is found not to be a risk factor for autism, they start demanding that every possible combination of the “toxins” in vaccines be analyzed. If the authors had done exactly the analysis that Lyons-Weiler said they didn’t do, he would have come up with another one. As for controlling for “vaccine cessation,” that’s just a diversion that makes the assumption that ceasing vaccines will decrease the risk of autism. As for the rest, it’s very predictable. The authors looked at high risk categories for autism because antivaxers frequently say that there are subgroups at high risk for “vaccine-induced autism.” The groups chosen by the authors were the most reasonable to start with.

Here’s the absolute dumbest part of Lyons-Weiler’s article:

The smoking gun is the study-wide autism rate of 0.9-1%. The rate of ASD in Denmark is 1.65%. Where are the missing cases of ASD? Given past allegations of this group’s malfeasance and fraud, the rest of the study cannot be accepted based on this disparity alone: the study group is not representative of the population being studied.

My first question was: Where did he get this number? Well, if you divide all the cases (6,517) found over the study period by the total number of children studied (657,461), producing an incidence rate of 0.99%. I note that the link he cites found that the prevalence of autism in Danish 10 year olds in 2016 was 1.65%. The two populations aren’t comparable. Also, if you look at this graph, you’ll find that the autism cumulative incidence in ten year olds in the study was—you guessed it!—around 1.4%, which is not too far off from 1.65%, particularly remembering that this study covers over a decade, a period of time when autism prevalence was rising. Check it out for yourself

I was half-tempted to stop there, given that anyone who makes such a simplistic calculation and dumb mistake in one important area is likely to have made others. For example:

They did not consider anything about >1 vaccine per visit when the MMR was given. Comment below if your child regressed into ASD following receipt of the MMR + other vaccines (“MMR + OTHER”). Here’s an interesting question: Comment below if your child regressed into ASD following receipt of MMR alone after having received no prior vaccines (“MMR ALONE NO PRIOR”). Comment below if the situation was “MMR ALONE WITH PRIOR VACCINES”).

Cumulative vaccine exposure is the variable that might reflect risk better, as would “>1 vaccine received on date of MMR vaccination”. It is meaningless to study a single vaccine exposure in a population that is being vaccinated so many times before the MMR.

Again, this is a silly criticism based on the antivax trope of “too many too soon.” This is not the question the authors were studying; so it’s misleading to bring this up as a criticism. The authors were asking a simple question: Is vaccination with MMR associated with autism, either in the whole population or in certain high risk subgroups. The answer was a resounding no. They were not studying whether overall cumulative vaccine dosage is associated with autism.

Now here’s a rather obvious dodge:

Apparently vaccine risk in immigrants do not matter because the study required that individual have a valid entry in the Denmark birth registry. Why would that matter? Because the odds of receiving many vaccines at once upon entry into Denmark is very, very high. Oddly, without explanation, the study excluded 11 people with autism. To avoid translational failure, the MMR should not be used on any of the clinical groups that were excluded from the study.

Immigrants don’t have complete data from birth in the database because by definition they weren’t born in Denmark! Also, regarding the claim that immigrants are at high risk of receiving many vaccines at once, my response is: citation required. Even if this were true, again, whether receiving many vaccines at once is associated with autism was not the question the study was asking. As for the eleven cases of autism excluded, the reason was right there in the study flow diagram and in the methods section. Children diagnosed with autism before one year of age were excluded because they don’t get their first dose of MMR until 15 months of age. Seriously, Mr. Lyons-Weiler, read the damned study! Here’s the flow diagram if you don’t believe me:

His fourth complaint is that the authors didn’t use his preferred unvalidated models that he published in Cures vs. Profits. My answer: Why would they do that?

Finally, Lyons-Weiler makes a “well, duh!” statement and then totally misinterprets a simple observation:

Association studies do not test causality. Had this study reported a positive association, it would have fallen short under IOM standards, of providing sufficient evidence for causality. Thus, it cannot be used rule out causality. It’s not testing that hypothesis.

Later he says:

Once again, epidemiology is the WRONG TOOL for studying vaccine risk.

Not exactly. Actually, no. Epidemiology is the correct tool for studying vaccine risk. Surely Lyons-Weiler isn’t claiming that a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is the best way, given that such a study would be quite unethical for existing vaccines that are standard of care—like MMR.

In any event, it is true that association studies do not demonstrate causality (i.e, correlation does not necessarily equal causation). However, if an association is found, it might indicate causation, and if the association found is strong enough and robust enough, it can strongly suggest causation. I like to use the example of smoking and lung cancer. The correlation between smoking and lung cancer is very strong, very robust (having been demonstrated in many studies), and has a clear dose-response curve. Because it’s unethical to do a randomized, controlled trial of smoking versus not smoking, epidemiology had to be enough to support causation for a long time before mechanistic studies started to show how smoking predisposes to lung cancer. Finally, if there is no association found in a huge study like this, including no association found in any subgroup studied, it can’t absolutely rule out causation, but it sure as hell can tell us that, if there is a correlation, it must very, very tiny indeed. That’s not what antivaxers have been saying about a link between MMR and autism. They’ve been saying that MMR has been causing autism in a lot of children, huge numbers. This study refutes that claim quite conclusively.

Finally, what antivax rant would be complete without accusations of COIs?

The bottom line is that this is a well-designed, very large, and very well executed epidemiological study. Its results were about as negative as negative can possibly be for a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism and adds to the already huge volume of evidence that, given its quantity and quality, has gotten to the point where we can safely say that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. Lyons-Weiler can rant all he wants about the study, but that’s because he can’t refute it.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

357 replies on “MMR vaccination is not associated with autism, take ∞”

The stupid of Lyons-Weiler, it burns.

Apparently vaccine risk in immigrants do not matter

Well, yes, sort of, because the antivaxers’ hypothesis is that vaccine-induced autism happens in the native population. Not rarely, not once in a blue moon, but all the time.
So, even if immigrant children were at higher risk, you should still detect this risk in the local population.

And another case of garbage in, garbage out….

657 461 children born in Denmark from 1999 through 31 December 2010, with follow-up from 1 year of age and through 31 August 2013.

The mean age at first autism diagnosis was 7.22 years (SD, 2.86), and the mean age among autistic disorder cases was 6.17 years (SD, 2.65).

It appears that a substantial number of younger kids would’ve been born too close to the cutoff date of the study, 31 August 2013, for them to be diagnosed with autism, given that the median age of diagnosis was 7.22 years and the follow-up started at 1 year of age. I’m estimating that’s potentially 20% missed autism cases or over 2000 cases. That’s freaking huge! These kids that would go on to be diagnosed with autism, in this study are not being counted as such. Garbage in — garbage out!

Yes and no.
The study was about MMR as a cause for autism. The first dose is given at 1 year of age.
According to you guys, the effect is almost immediate – “I saw the light went out of his eyes”. So even 6 months as a follow-up should be enough, isn’t it?
Anyway, if the MMR vaccine had such a negative effect and provoked an increased rate of developing autism, one hope it would be detectable when comparing the rate of autism diagnosis between the vaccinated children and the not-vaccinated, over the next two-and-half years after the vaccination.

If you want to argue that the reason we don’t see any correlation during this time frame is because autism is not due to vaccines between 1 and 3 years, be my guest.

“So even 6 months as a follow-up should be enough, isn’t it?”

Read the freaking study again, Athaic! There is no freaking need to speculate here! They’re freaking saying that the freaking median age of diagnosis was freaking over 7 YEARS! With some of the younger kids, they would’ve only been freaking 3 or 4 at the freaking study’s cutoff date!

Indeed I am starting to consider these researchers are also practicing what they preach and over indulging with vaccines, and causing some very serious neurological issues. Only mentally unstable people would think this shit will fly.

“Only mentally unstable people would think this shit will fly.”

Or people who knows what “survival analysis” means.

Come on, Greg, what is “survival analysis”?

@ Greg

You were telling that about 20% of autistic chlldren were not accounted for, because not yet diagnosed. If, say, 75% of the autistic children were missing, you may have a point. If a sort of correlation, short of the significance threshold, was observed with the 80% children already present in this study, you may have a point. But that’s not the case.
And i stand by my points. If the MMR vaccine was a factor, more autistic children would very likely be diagnosed over a given period of time, compared to non-vaccinated ones. Unless…
You are basically arguing that the MMR vaccine has a really observable, detrimental effect mostly 3 years after vaccination. That there is little to be observed before, at least enough to alert parents and caregivers, in one case our of 5 (your 20%) if not one in two.
The timing link has always been part of the antivaxer hypothesis. You will have to make up your mind, because here you tell me it’s subtle and slow-acting and happening 3 years or more after.the MMR vaccination.

A. Your quote said mean, not median.
B. You haven’t actually responded to the point, which is that the claim of the antivaccine movement is not that mmr at one leads to autism at seven, but that it’s pretty immediate or at least close in time. If it were true, this study would show it.

Your quote said mean, not median.

You’re being too charitable to suggest that he might know the difference.

By “estimating” I take it you mean “pulling some big number out of thin air that supports my argument”? Because that’s not what it means to everyone else. Furthermore “median” is not interchangeable with “mean” FYI

Given there were 6 517 diagnosed cases of autism for the entire study period, how do you “estimate” over 2 000 “missed” ones in 1 year and 9 months?

Greg, I’ve been reviewing the study. It’s extremely well done. The authors divide the data into several birth cohorts. The data actually show higher rates of autism for the oldest cohorts, which might be due to the effect you have mentioned, but the MMR vaccination does not show statistical significance for any of the birth cohorts. Your concern is not a good reason to reject the results of the paper. It is not as dispositive of the subgroup issue as Orac seems to think because they don’t look at the two subgroups (black males and mitochondrial disease) that have been claimed to show significant differences by the two CDC doctors who have provided testimony regarding the CDC suppressing publications of those findings. This isn’t a flaw of the paper though. The Danish population may not have large enough numbers of either of those subsets of children to warrant computing separate analyses on those subgroups. The raw numbers show slightly higher percentages of MMR unvaccinated children having higher rates of autism consistently across all but one subgroup tested. This correlation is likely due to children with autism being less likely to have gotten the MMR vaccine (a healthy user bias perhaps?) which points away from the MMR vaccine being causally connected to autism.

The Danish population may not have large enough numbers of either of those subsets of children to warrant computing separate analyses on those subgroups.

That’s a good remark. One can go look at the Danish population and see if they differ on one or another group, compared to say, the USA.

But I have a better question:
Do the US autism population has a composition reflecting what you believe are two at-risk subgroups: i.e., a majority of black males and people with mitochondrial diseases?

The data actually show higher rates of autism for the oldest cohorts, which might be due to the effect you have mentioned, but the MMR vaccination does not show statistical significance for any of the birth cohorts.

Thanks Beth, but we must also consider that ‘mean’ means just that, an average. Even among the oldest cohorts autism cases were likely missed and perhaps yielding the no statiscal significance, and when we consider the mean age of diagnosis was over 7. The greater the age gap to cutoff the less likely cases will be missed. I really don’t see how my point can be discounted when almost half of the the kids were too young to reach the mean age of diagnosis at cutoff.

Had the researchers went back and look at the Madsen et al cases, kids born up to Dec 1998, and while keeping the 2013 cutoff date then I would be impressed with this study. Pretty much with that approach we could assume 100% of the cases would be accounted for.

@ myself

I should have said ‘black males and people with mitochondrial diseases being over-represented, compared to their proportion in the general population’.
Never forget to carry the denominator.

@Beth – you’ve nailed it on the head. Anti-vaxers can’t show actual data which shows African-American males are diagnosed with autism at a higher rate than the general population.

“I really don’t see how my point can be discounted when almost half of the the kids were too young to reach the mean age of diagnosis at cutoff.”

Study survival analysis. Start with the Kaplan Meier estimator.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaplan–Meier_estimator

“An important advantage of the Kaplan–Meier curve is that the method can take into account some types of censored data, particularly right-censoring, which occurs if a patient withdraws from a study, is lost to follow-up, or is alive without event occurrence at last follow-up.”

I do not know enough about the design of such studies to know if my argument carries through, but it false to claim that these type of concerns have not been addressed in theoretical statistics. There may be caveats as to how these are translated into practical biostatistics. That I do not know.

Thanks Beth, but we must also consider that ‘mean’ means just that, an average.

Why no, it does not.

“I really don’t see how my point can be discounted when almost half of the the kids were too young to reach the mean age of diagnosis at cutoff.”

That’s the fact you overlooked:

“the MMR vaccination does not show statistical significance for any of the birth cohorts”

Athaic asked “Do the US autism population has a composition reflecting what you believe are two at-risk subgroups: i.e., a majority of black males and people with mitochondrial diseases?” That’s a really good question. While we have testimony from two different doctors regarding those two respective subgroups, I’m not aware of any published data on the incidence rate for those groups. If you know of a study addressing it, I would be interested to know the answer.

Beth, in addition to my earlier reply to you the fact that the results are trending towards a link for the older cohorts should set off alarm bells. The prevailing wisdom is we’re getting better at diagnosing autism. so if anything more cases among the younger cohorts should’ve been expected, not the opposite.

“the fact that the results are trending towards a link for the older cohorts should set off alarm bells.”

Figures?

“so if anything more cases among the younger cohorts should’ve been expected, not the opposite.”

This is hand waiving. For all I understand, older cohorts have had more time to get diagnosed, so it’s hardly surprising that they would have higher prevalence.

It is not as dispositive of the subgroup issue as Orac seems to think because they don’t look at the two subgroups (black males and mitochondrial disease) that have been claimed to show significant differences by the two CDC doctors who have provided testimony regarding the CDC suppressing publications of those findings. This isn’t a flaw of the paper though.

Good points Beth except for this. These are only “subgroups” if you buy into the conspiracy. I trust you can read through the 2004 DeStefano et al. study along with the study design that Thompson himself provided and see that everything is on the up and up and black males are not a subgroup in the way you state. Additionally, and yet again, Zimmerman is not a CDC scientist and never was. He’s based his statements on an n=1 and you should know better.

Beth, in addition to my earlier reply to you the fact that the results are trending towards a link for the older cohorts should set off alarm bells.

Gerg, what is the age of peak ASD prevalence in the MADDSP catchment area in the U.S.?

by the two CDC doctors

Tell us more about this second CDC doctor, Beth.People keep pointing out to you that Zimmerman has no connection to the CDC, and you keep repeating the same bonehead blunder. Are you under some sort of gaes?

Somewhere along the way, “two CDC doctors” has entered the antivax lexicon as a synecdoche for “corruption and whistle-blowers at the highest levels”, without anyone feeling the need to explain who the second doctor is.
I do not feel sufficiently motivated to delve into the literature and chart the different steps along this particular human centipede of unthink.

Beth if the CDC study shows anything with regard to black males it is that the MMR is protective against autism. It doesn’t show that of course, particularly if you take into account the confounder that in order to be eligible for the relevant benefits children have to be up to date with their immunisations.

@ Beth

A bit late to answer this, but still:

While we have testimony from two different doctors regarding those two respective subgroups

No. You claim to have two doctors saying that they found these two at-risk subgroups inside the cohort used for a specific study. You may have legal evidence (assuming these testimonies do say what you say they said), but this is not scientific evidence.
As far as the scientific community is concerned, unpublished results are at the minimum unconfirmed, if not unproven.
I am asking you if they at least correlate to the distribution of autism inside the general population.

I’m not aware of any published data on the incidence rate for those groups. If you know of a study addressing it, I would be interested to know the answer.

No, wait. You claim/report the claim that these two subgroups exist, but somehow this is my job to prove you are right?
That’s not how debates work. Or science, for that matter.

@Athaic You seem to have misunderstood what I said. Yes, two doctors have provided testimony (legal evidence, not scientific evidence) saying that they found these two at-risk subgroups inside the cohort used for a specific study. They have also testified that the CDC did not make their findings public at the time. But I have not made any claims that the testimonies were proven facts, only that the study being discussed in the OP cannot be used to dismiss those claims because they don’t provide evidence on either subgroup.

Athaic asked ” No, wait. You claim/report the claim that these two subgroups exist, but somehow this is my job to prove you are right? That’s not how debates work. Or science, for that matter. ”

No, it’s not your job unless posting on the internet advocating for vaccination is your job. I was asking, not demanding. You could just say that you don’t know either. And yes, that is my perception of how internet debates and science both work – people are supposed to admit it when they don’t know something and seek to increase their knowledge. I don’t think asking if the other person knows of a source for the information is out of line. Why do you think it is?

But I have not made any claims that the testimonies were proven facts, only that the study being discussed in the OP cannot be used to dismiss those claims because they don’t provide evidence on either subgroup.

You have actually made claims that these “testimonies”* were proven facts by insinuation and continue to do so. We can dismiss those claims because they aren’t, in fact, “subgroups”.

*Thompson never “testified” about anything; he wrote a public statement. Zimmerman never testified to that either and also wrote statements to the DoJ and publicly.

My take on Thompson and Zimmerman is that they both showed An almost nit-picking concern for detail. This can be useful in science, but risks losing sight of the big picture.

In Thompson’s case, he was concerned that an anomaly in one part of the data wasn’t called out in the overall report. This bothered him and led to his conversations with Hooker. But it was based on a small number of cases and hasn’t been confirmed in other studies. If anything, blacks are still under represented in ASD diagnoses.

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm-community-report/differences-in-children.html

In Zimmerman’s case, he was concerned that there might be other cases like Hannah Poling and didn’t want that brushed aside. And I think he has testified to that effect in one or two VICP cases. But Hannah Poling was clearly unusual since her case was separated from the autism omnibus hearing. The VICP compensates about 1 case in a million vaccinations, so that makes her case Lok like a 1 in 10 million incident. Since there have been no similar cases in the 10 years since those hearings, it might be more like 1 in 100 million.

They have also testified that the CDC did not make their findings public at the time.

This needs to be laughed at more. Beth has somehow got it into her head that not only was Zimmerman somehow connected to the CDC, but that “the CDC did not make [his] findings public at the time.”

Why would the CDC make Zimmerman’s findings public??!!

I would like to put that in strobing letter, if possible.

Zimmerman offered to testify in a Vaccine Court hearing. The CDC had nothing to do with that. The gubblement attorney opted not to use Zimmerman’s testimony. The CDC had nothing to do with that. Why in the name of Azothoth does Beth keep going on about the CDC?

It is if “CDC” is some kind of code word in antivax circles, signifying “evil gubblement corruption” and “suppression of the truth”, for reasons which they are unable to explain.

I’m estimating that’s potentially 20% missed autism cases or over 2000 cases.

20% of 657,461 is 2000 now?

No, considering if an adequate cut-off spacing was employed we would’ve had over 8500 autism cases, not 6500.

The database was sampled for 1999-2010. A common antivax claim is that autism develops immediately upon vaccination. The youngest kids would be 3-4 years old when follow-up ceased – plenty of time for your purported immediate reaction to occur. You’re grasping at straws.

No, you misunderstand. Autism, as in the disabling autistic behaviors, start when the synaptic pruning stops. No child will appear autistic within hours or even days but rather weeks & months. If vaccines are what initiated the atypical immune response that disables the microglia cells, you wouldn’t see the result of synaptic buildup for at least a few weeks.

The only scenario I could conceive of where the child could have appeared to become autistic immediately after a vaccine, is if Anaphylaxis or seizure activity occurred & the recovery time lasted until the synaptic buildup was significant enough to cause atypical behaviors.

The rest of our kids usually seem to have difficulty after a vaccine the ‘normal’ way; fussy, overtired & feverish, except that it seems to take longer than expected. Because one tends to watch a sick child more critically, the initial odd behaviors seem more apparent. And then continue to worsen.

If you hear a parent say their child ‘became autistic’ immediately after a vaccine, what they are meaning to communicate is that their child was never the same after the vaccine & is now Autistic.

Regardless, no; a 3-4 year old child will not be old enough to adequately assess for autism. Age 8 is the age the CDC uses for likelihood of identifiable special needs & Autism rates are tabulated using the need for educational support in 2nd graders.

My son was finally diagnosed when he was 26 years old. Everyone told us that he was going to be fine.

In 1991 a child neurologist told me that my non-verbal preschooler was definitely not autistic because he smiled and laughed. Sure, sure… even though the laughter was often sudden and often at inappropriate times.

I really really wish he would participate in the SPARK for Autism study, especially since he has a genetic heart disorder that required surgery. But he is over eighteen years old, so he has to fill out the online form. That is not going to happen.

This is why I encourage other families to sign up.

Christine,

A lot of children are screened for autism at an early age now. Last week I celebrated my grand son’s third birthday with his cousin who is 4. The cousin was identified as autistic about a year ago and has been receiving therapy to help with development. He is fairly quiet a d not quite as coordinated, but otherwise seems fairly normal.

Garbage in — garbage out!

Of course, with Gerg this can simply be shortened to the last two words.

Gerg,

Grasping at straws?

The vaccine schedule didn’t change, the vaccine rate didn’t change and the rate of autism didn’t change over the course of ten years…..getting desperate, aren’t you?

Lawrence, how exactly is it grasping at straws to point out going by the study’s parameters potentially 20% autism cases were missed, involving kids that would’ve been too young to be diagnosed with autism at the study’s cutoff date?

Ha ha ha…..wow, you really are getting desperate.

You really don’t understand study design or methodology, do you?

Since you’re the one who claims that all autism is “flapping arms and brain damage,” how would that be missed, moron?

Also, 6000 or so cases out of 600,000 kids? With many of those being at the higher level of the spectrum…..where is the Tsunami you keep speaking about?

I think a much higher percent were missed. Merck ordered the Danish government to alter the records. In fact they missed 124, 223.4 cases. Tell ’em Greg!

Greg, you haven’t even proven a single case of autism was “missed” much less 20%.

You haven’t explained what you think the problem is with the enrollment dates of the study.

Why don’t you perform your own study if you’re so sure? I’m sure the rest of us would love a follow up laugh.

It seems Lyin-Weiler is resorting to the usual anti-vaxxer plans B,C & D when a study comes out that doesn’t give them the answer they want.

Plan B: MMR is still at fault – it’s just that it’s only at fault when it’s given with another vaccine.
Plan C: If it’s not MMR it must be another vaccine
Plan D: Make nonsensical attacks on the methodology and hint at unspecified nefariousness (“they excluded some kids.. therefore they have something to hide! The smoking gun must be hidden in the data they excluded!”)

And of course he makes sure to stroke the egos of the faithful, pretending that he (and by inference only him) cares about them – ask the ravening egotistical hordes to trot out their stories of regression. Use a suitably leading question to ensure that you get just the responses you’re looking for (as he did) and you’ll virtually guarantee a slew of cookie-cutter stories. Each serving as it’s own mini confirmation and validation to the others.

Oh he presents the illusion of asking for a range of experiences but if you look closely they are all the same: “Tell me how MMR hurt your precious child”. It’s like asking a room full of people what they want for dinner “Fried chicken, roast chicken, or steamed chicken?” Either way the answer is going to be “Chicken” and that’s going to make it look like all everyone wants for dinner is chicken.

sigh

An obvious antivaxer line of attack is to intimate nefarious doings on the part of the foundation that provided some of the financial support for the Danish study. Their Wikipedia entry states that the foundation (which makes grants for various types of research) has investments in life science companies.

Who knows what evil lurks in those life science companies? Are they involved in “molecular crimes against humanity”?

Exactly! You’ve hit the nail on the head. This study is tremendously flawed because they did not look at all children born outside of Denmark, to say nothing of the Danish children born to Danish mothers outside of Denmark or non-Danish children born to Danish mothers in Sweden. I bet they didn’t even check for latex sensitivity, either.

Sorry for that last sentence. I couldn’t help myself.

Eh, it’s well known that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Also, they didn’t check Great Danes, and Small Danes, and Medium Danes.
Also, Mean Danes. Or was it Average Danes?

Athaic, yes, and then we must ask who paid the Danegeld, and now that someone has paid it, how do we get rid of the Dane?
(Sorry, bad Viking not-joke.)

I bet they didn’t even check for latex sensitivity, either.

Yeah, I’m sensitive about starting my documents with \documentclass[12pt]{amsart}.

Le sigh. My hubby’s grandfather was born in Denmark. Both of my grandfather’s parents were from Norway. My kids have significant Scandinavian background. So much so that on a trip to Denmark where my brother was living as an embassy computer nerd we visited many old castles turned into museums.

The younger son looked very much like a few Danish kings, like the crazy King Christian! Apparently one of the brothers of his paternal grandmother had the same experience. “Oh, no… that painting of King X looks like me!.”

Sorry, but only one of my three kids are on the autistic spectrum.

I’m curious about those exclusionary diagnoses. Are those children unable to get vaccines? Unable to be diagnosed with autism because it shares symptoms with the exclusionary diagnosis? Or is it something else my non-medical brain can’t even guess at?

“From the Danish National Patient Register comprising diagnoses from all somatic departments, we obtained information on several syndromes and conditions with an inherent increased risk for autism (fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Prader–Willi syndrome, and congenital rubella syndrome) (11). Children with any of these conditions were excluded from the study if the condition was diagnosed before their first birthday or censored at date of the diagnosis if it was made when the child was older than 1 year.”

These children are at increased risk for autism. The study excludes them to observe the putative MMR/autism correlation in a population where these characteristics are not found.

The MMR/autism argument is that vaccines induce autism in the general population. Hence the studies targets that argument.

You can argue that the study is not designed to study correlation between MMR and autism in the population with these risks factors. However, doing so you’d be observing such a small fraction of the population that you’d be hard pressed to make robust conclusions.

At least that’s my understanding.

F68.10 – Thank you! I completely missed the statement that those syndromes include an increased risk of autism.

Are those children unable to get vaccines

I’m just trying to expand on what F68.10 said. The exclusion has to do entirely with what the study is looking for, not that the children can’t be vaccinated.

The illnesses in the list F68.10 has reposted can later result in autism. By the statistical treatment of the study, if these kids are vaccinated and then later diagnosed with autism, there would be correlation between MMR and autism in these children and it would confound the overall study by generating a false positive. They have to be excluded from study because it’s already known that autism in that group is likely caused by the risk factor they were flagged for.

It would be a different study if you focused on that particular group and asked if the inevitable MMR-autism correlation was a causative one. Probably it’s due to the risk factor, but you would have a hard time knowing that from the epidemiology, as I understand it.

Hi, Nancie,

Those kids were excluded if they were diagnosed before one year of age (12 months). The first dose of the MMR vaccine is given to children at 15 months of age. Ergo, if they have autism, the MMR can’t have caused it. Including them would skew the analysis since they already have autism, get their MMR but the MMR can’t be responsible. They removed a confounding factor so they could accurately determine if there was a correlation between MMR and kids who were diagnosed AFTER getting the MMR vaccine.

The study found there is no correlation.

The ability of the MMR vaccine to cause autism is so strong that it retroactively induces autism before they get the jab. You people are so obsessed with scientism that you are blind to the metaphysical properties of that evil substance!

In this cohort study, the M-M-R ® vaccine has not been shown to adversely affect the incidence or atypicality of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

@ Orac,

Adding my two (2) cents, this brings closure to said vaccine adversely affecting ASDs of all children born in Denmark of Danish-born mothers from 1 January 1999 through 31 December 2010.

Vaccine studies continue to show that science-based, orchestrated, forced-immunity DOES NOT adversely affect the incidence or atypicality of an autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, this “vaccine safety advocate” is pleased with the continuous improvement efforts taking place; especially with respect to vaccine packaging.

@ F68.10,

In simplification, this is all good news for parents who want assurances that their children will be safe and healthy.

But that won’t stop MJD from continuing to complain of course, since he’s not really a skeptic but a crank.

Panacea writes,

he’s not really a skeptic but a crank.

MJD says,

Congratulations Panacea, you made me cringe with such respectful insolence. sirhcton’s comment (MARCH 6, 2019 AT 1:36 PM) is also insensitive. Anyone else want to stick it to MJD before he fades away?

Gregg Crawls Out From Under His Rock Once More:

Gregg writes:

“It appears that a substantial number of younger kids would’ve been born too close to the cutoff date of the study, 31 August 2013, for them to be diagnosed with autism, given that the median age of diagnosis was 7.22 years and the follow-up started at 1 year of age. I’m estimating that’s potentially 20% missed autism cases or over 2000 cases. That’s freaking huge!”

True, any cut-off date will potentially miss those coming later. or earlier However, if one were to extent the cut-off date then the denominator, that is ALL kids from the extended dates would be included, ad infinitum. So, if the denominator changed then the result would more than likely be the same. How in hell could one do any study if, according to Gregg, one can’t define a cohort, including a time period?

As for Gregg’s claim that the follow-up time was too short for many of the kids. Obviously by using beginning dates and concluding dates for the data be analyzed, some kids will have been in it longer than others. They could have only included kids that data was available for some minimum number of years; but then the sample size would have been much smaller and Gregg would criticize the study for that.

Second, Gregg sees over 2000 cases being potentially missed. Assuming these cases would be added to the total without adding ALL the kids from the extended time frame, it would give a total of 8,517 kids which, divided by 657,461 gives 1.3% vs 6,517 divided by 657,461 which gives 1%. Unfortunately, being retired I don’t have access to a statistical program to carry out the Cox Proportional Hazards analysis; but I think it obvious, given that the odds ratio found actually favored vaccinations, that the change from 1% to 1.3% would NOT have found a statistically significant association.

However, something Gregg and others like him who don’t understand epidemiology and biostatistics don’t understand is that NO study is perfect, not even a perfectly conducted double-blind randomized trial. Why? Imagine a bowl of marbles, 90 white and 10 red. Blindfolded, put 20 marbles in one group and 20 in a second group. Is it possible to get ALL 10 red in one group? Yes, though with a low probability. Imagine one gets 7 red in one group vs 3 in the other group. Higher probability. Now imagine that the red marbles represents a confounding factor, something that influences the study’s outcome. Statistical significance doesn’t mean a study is significant/important; but that if one conducted similar studies, the risk of some confounding factor being responsible in some way for the results is 1% or 5% and one then makes the decision to accept the results, that the association is related to the variable of interest, not some unknown, uncontrolled, confounding variable. And when additional studies result in similar findings, the confidence one has increases.

Studies done in the US, for instance, after thimerosal (mercury) was removed from all vaccines except flu, with minuscule traces in other vaccines, have found NO association with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In fact, since removal of thimerosal, cases of ASD have increased. I guess, using anti-vaccinationist’s logic, best way to reduce ASD would be to increase thimerosal in vaccines.😀😀

And Gregg missed the following in the study’s conclusion: “A limitation of our study is that we used date of first diagnosis of autism, which is probably delayed compared with the age at onset of symptoms. This can be a source of information bias—for example, in the case where symptoms precede vaccination and diagnosis occurs after vaccination. This will result in misclassification of autism cases as vaccinated, biasing the hazard ratio toward an effect.”

I think it obvious that if kids were included as Gregg wants, the probability that ASD cases prior to vaccination would have increased and the study results become even stronger.

There are actually peer-reviewed journal articles that found videos of kids taken by families prior to vaccinations and observed ASD symptoms, not as pronounced as later; but many of the symptoms, such as speech anomolies don’t appear/aren’t noticeable until after the age when MMR given.

Would also say my 20% missed figure is too conservative. Half the cases not maturing to the mean diagnosed age at cut-off would likely involve a greater percentage of missed case. Also, supporting the claim of missed cases is the ridiculously low prevalence of autism among the population. Why would the Danes have such a low prevalence..

Greg, you’re downright embarrassing. You’re not laying down your computations so we cannot discuss them. Then this:

“Also, supporting the claim of missed cases is the ridiculously low prevalence of autism among the population.”

First, you’re making the claim that “missed cases” are somehow relevant. They’re not. What is indeed relevant is that the rate at which autism is diagnosed doesn’t change whether vaccinated or not. Second, the autism prevalence in Denmark is not “ridiculously low”. It’s 68.5 in 10000, and roughly corresponds to what can be observed throughout the world: detection rates and methods are not the same on a per country basis, and there’s nothing surprising to that.

You’re taking whathever suits you to throw in the basket. That’s not intellectually honest.

Wow. Joel explains in detail why you’re wrong and your response is to double down.

Makes me wish I were a black jack dealer in Vegas and you were sitting at my table. The house would clean up.

Yes, you are right. They had an overall autism rate of 1 in every 200, while the actual rate in Denmark is 1 in every 100. What a delightful coincidence that participation in a research study helps cut your risk of autism in half.

The question is “what type of autism?” It turns out there are several kinds, all with different symptoms. Though what is cool about genetic testing is that they are finding clusters occurring with the same genetic sequence. It needs more families: https://sparkforautism.org/discover/

Possibly another point of interest, since the removal of thimerosal, we have also seen instances of bacterial inoculation in remote/underserved areas that has resulted in M&M case outcomes.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH March 6, 2019 at 10:20 am

Unfortunately, being retired I don’t have access to a statistical program to carry out the Cox Proportional Hazards analysis

Retirement is not a problem here. Install R and the packages mentioned here R function to compute the Cox model: coxph() and you should be good to go.

Sorry; but I keep my computer with bare minimum, just what came with it. Wouldn’t be worth my while to install anything for a one-time use.

If it were really of importance, I’ve a good friend who is professor at nearby university and has SAS on his PCs. Years ago I used SAS quite a bit. Earlier used BMDP and SPSS and also STATA; but it’s been years.

Blindfolded, put 20 marbles in one group and 20 in a second group. Is it possible to get ALL 10 red in one group? Yes, though with a low probability. Imagine one gets 7 red in one group vs 3 in the other group. Higher probability.

No; all of the outcomes have equal probability.

I believe you’re wrong, Narad.

Go on. Flipping a fair coin 20 times and getting heads each time is as likely as getting tails each time, as is everything in between. It’s only over the long haul that things even out to 50:50.

^ Oh, no, you’re right. I overlooked the initial condition:

Imagine a bowl of marbles, 90 white and 10 red.

Thanks for demonstrating your total ignorance of probability theory. It wouldn’t be worth my while giving you a lesson. I suggest before you continue to make a fool of yourself that you go to the library and check out an intro to probability.

“I suggest before you continue to make a fool of yourself that you go to the library and check out an intro to probability.”

Errare humanum est.

I suggest before you continue to make a fool of yourself that you go to the library and check out an intro to probability.

I suggest that you cool your jets, Joel. Not only did I cop to my error, I worked the numbers.

It’s been awhile; but while walking my dog seems like best approach is what is called the Hypergeometric Distribution. Since I don’t even have a calculator that does permutations and combinations anymore (mine wore out years ago), all I have is simple one just to double check I’ve balance my accounts.

Blindfolded, put 20 marbles in one group and 20 in a second group.

In this order? I’m mildly curious about the actual conditional probability.

How in hell could one do any study if, according to Gregg, one can’t define a cohort, including a time period?

The issue is one of ensuring a significant gap between birth cohorts and cut-off date. As I mentioned, considering Madsen et al 2002 Dec 1998 ending cohorts and while keeping the 2013 cut-off date would’ve nicely addressed the issue. Let’s face it, the Danish database is not going anywhere, and it will be available to play with. On this point — I think it’s already being played with and not in a good way.

“The issue is one of ensuring a significant gap between birth cohorts and cut-off date.”

That’s a brain fart.

“I think it’s already being played with and not in a good way.”

Assumes facts not in evidence.

Surely Lyons-Weiler isn’t claiming that a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is the best way, given that such a study would be quite unethical for existing vaccines that are standard of care—like MMR.

Surely he is knowing full well that this will never be done so he can keep slagging studies like these.

You are basically arguing that the MMR vaccine has a really observable, detrimental effect mostly 3 years after vaccination. That there is little to be observed before, at least enough to alert parents and caregivers, in one case our of 5 (your 20%) if not one in two.
The timing link has always been part of the antivaxer hypothesis. You will have to make up your mind, because here you tell me it’s subtle and slow-acting and happening 3 years or more after.the MMR vaccination

Althic, look at the findings of the significant time lags between when parents first noticed the signs and their kids getting diagnosed.

“Althic, look at the findings of the significant time lags between when parents first noticed the signs and their kids getting diagnosed.”

One potential good point. Though unsourced.

Seriously: OK, I agree, a potential good point. Although, to repeat a previous point, if you insist on removing the time proximity between the vaccine injection and the diagnosis, then the rationale for investigating vaccines goes away. We are stuck in circular reasoning.

Much less seriously: if you all people are insisting on maiming my nym’ and calling me Beth or Althic, maybe I should take another nym’. Althic sounds damn close to Attic. Maybe I’ll switch to Gazebo.

And no, Greg. I never maimed your nym’.

@ Julian

I know. It’s Lawrence who typed too fast and confused me with Beth, somewhere above.
But it’s not an important matter.

Thanks for that squirrelelite!

A while ago, I predicted ( and many here can verify it) that eventually we might find a pattern of causation for ASDs that resembles ( I’m not saying identically but in spirit) that which has been uncovered over decades about schizophrenia:
i.e. it is largely a function of genetics with additional influences from pre and peri natal variables ( like low birth weight, material infection, maternal stress in pregnancy, complicated delivery etc.- see schizophrenia.com/ causes; psycom.net)

Earlier theories often postulated that events in a young child’s life might pre-dispose to SMI ( although even Freud thought that SMI might be traced to the “germ plasm” itself- early 20thCentury speak for genetics) just as autism was ( mis) attributed to refrigerator mothers well after birth. Or vaccines or bad diets.

Thus these environmental factors occur before or around the time of birth – not at age 1 or 2- as anti-vaxxers would have us believe.

In addition, other studies have shown that signs of ASDs can be shown much prior to MMR- head size, physiognomic differences ( in facial proportions), gaze patterns, brain wave differences etc.

I could never fathom how a tiny amount of Hg or Al or whatever else they fear could just pop across the BBB and change the brain within a week or two ( as AJW maintained) or cause increases head size ( in one variant).

“we might find a pattern of causation for ASDs that resembles ( I’m not saying identically but in spirit) that which has been uncovered over decades about schizophrenia”

Could you provide a good link to a paper detailing this pattern of causation? I’ve been totally unsatisfied with the state of knowledge on schizophrenia.

Thanks. But I’ve read quite some stuff from such websites already. I’m at a loss to find a comprehensive synopsis that would be evidence based. Very little has been enlightening. Not interested in cherry-picking articles anymore.

This is hand waiving. For all I understand, older cohorts have had more time to get diagnosed, so it’s hardly surprising that they would have higher prevalence

F68, and right there you’re making my argument for me. We should be suspicious of this study with its quick cut-off date that likely led to missed cases.

“We should be suspicious of this study with its quick cut-off date that likely led to missed cases.”

As explained before, “missed cases” are not relevant.

F68.10, regarding schizophrenia studies: In https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1782168/

“The cumulative data for immune cells expressing multiple molecular components that equip them to respond to both serotonin and dopamine are overwhelming. The precise roles of the receptors and transporters for these biogenic monoamines within the immune system are at present, however, less clear.”

That was in 2005 & within the context of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety & depression. Fourteen years later, these ‘roles’ are being clarified, in particular; finding that juvenile immune activation in those with variations of the DISC1 gene, is indicated in causation for Schizophrenia:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465888/

Which of course has caused a flurry of studies trying to redefine ‘juvenile’ as ‘maternal’. To be clear; maternal immune activation (aka zombie mommy) is correlated with impaired prefrontal-hippocampal function. However, causation can only be implied in impaired pre-frontal activity by MIA, while causation for both pre frontal & hippocampus dysfunction requires juvenile immune activation for causation:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30617212

What are you talking about. “This resulted in a study cohort of 657 461 children contributing 5 025 754 person years of follow-up during 1 January 2000 through 31 August 2013.”

“Quick cut-off date” almost 13 years. Yikes! Your math must be quite different from mine and most others here on planet Earth.

Also from the results section: “The highest risk for autism was conferred by being a boy (HR, 4.02 [CI, 3.78 to 4.28]), being born in a late birth cohort (2008-2010; HR, 1.34 [CI, 1.18 to 1.52]), having no early childhood vaccinations (HR, 1.17 [CI, 0.98 to 1.38]), and having siblings with autism at study entry (HR, 7.32 [CI, 5.29 to 10.12]).”

All that moaning from anti-vaxxers about “no completely unvaccinated comparison group.” Welp, this is the result you get from comparing to an unvaccinated group 🙂

“Welp, this is the result you get from comparing to an unvaccinated group.”

It still isn’t a double blind randomized trial, so they’ll keep complaining.

First, you’re making the claim that “missed cases” are somehow relevant. They’re not. What is indeed relevant is that the rate at which autism is diagnosed doesn’t change whether vaccinated or not

Indeed those missed cases are relevant if they’re being counted as none-autistic vaxxed cases, rather vaxxed autistic cases that haven’t been diagnosed yet. Can you not see how this pattern may lead to a suggestion that vaccination is protective against autism. Wait! – what is this study suggesting again?

“Indeed those missed cases are relevant IF they’re being counted as none-autistic vaxxed cases, rather vaxxed autistic cases that haven’t been diagnosed yet.”

No. Look closely at your “IF”.

What is important is that the threshold at which one gets diagnosed autistic does not change whether or not vaccinated or unvaccinated. You have provided no evidence that this is not the case.

But you want to cling so desperately to the “autism epidemic” narrative that you do not even see that it is not relevant with the argument we are dealing with here.

What Greg is nudging against, but doesn’t want to face up to, is that these cases were out there all along as shown by the British study a few years ago. There may be a modest increase due to factors like paternal age, but what has mainly changed is the rules for how we count autism/ASD with the DSM-IV and -V and the corresponding changes in the ICD-10 as well as more awareness and careful surveillance. And there are more undiagnosed people in the general population, especially women, as shown by the Korean study. The increases in incidence and prevalence seen in the Danish data and similar increases in the U.S. are just bringing us closer to that true incidence number.

This is one way that antivaxxers can have their cake and eat it too, although it is less common. Greg likes to groan about the increase in the numbers we are counting while at the same time whining about all the other people we haven’t diagnosed and counted yet.

Of course, the other way is the time cutoff. Antivaxxers repeatedly claim that a million mothers have seen the light go out of their children’s eyes immediately after vaccination or something like that. And that we are being deliberately blind and conspiring to cover it up. However, several of them are now arguing for a longer and longer time after the vaccine to accept causality. 30 days is too short. 3 months is too short. We need to follow up for years after vaccination to track adverse events before we can claim vaccines are safe enough to use.

@ Gregg

Would you please crawl back under your rock and stop making a FOOL OF YOURSELF.

Gregg writes: “The issue is one of ensuring a significant gap between birth cohorts and cut-off date. . .
Also, supporting the claim of missed cases is the ridiculously low prevalence of autism among the population. Why would the Danes have such a low prevalence.. missed cases are relevant if they’re being counted as none-autistic vaxxed cases, rather vaxxed autistic cases that haven’t been diagnosed yet.”

First, one could turn his question on its head and ask why is the prevalence so high in U.S. And the answer is:

ASD in US includes a number of disorders that were excluded from the Danish study: “From the Danish National Patient Register comprising diagnoses from all somatic departments, we obtained information on several syndromes and conditions with an inherent increased risk for autism (fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Prader–Willi syndrome, and congenital rubella syndrome) (11)” Children with any of these conditions were excluded from the study if the condition was diagnosed

The Danish diagnosis is done at a psychiatric clinic; whereas many diagnosed with ASD in US is done by school counselors using a simple standardized test (and having studied psychometrics, such tests do include false positives and false negatives). Because of Federal funding, schools, maybe intentionally, maybe unconsciously, when a kid could be diagnosed as mentally challenged or, perhaps, some form of schizophrenia, choose the diagnosis most likely to be funded. Denmark has universal health coverage and does a good job of ensuring ALL kids with disabilities get good care.

However, Gregg shows his IMMENSE IGNORANCE since currently in US 1 in 59 diagnosed with ASD, simple math gives 1.7%, so, finding in Denmark 1%, when one takes into account the above is NOT unreasonable. Gregg, you do know how to carry out simple math???

The missed cases weren’t included in the study at all. You really are . . . I won’t say it. “We excluded 5775 children; 1498 had no registration in the Danish Medical Birth Registry, and 4277 were unavailable for follow-up at study entry (1 year of age) because of death (n = 2673), emigration (n = 770), unexplained disappearance from the source registers (n = 203), an autism diagnosis (n = 11), or an exclusionary diagnosis (n = 620).”

So, 11 cases of autism diagnosis were excluded because they didn’t have other data necessary to include in the study. You continue to attack straw men.

And I won’t repeat my previous comment which explained the necessity of cut-off points and the time span for the cohort.

I asked you a while back what your training, level of knowledge is, in epidemiology, biostatistics, immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, and I’ll add psychometrics? Don’t bother to answer, I’m sure you won’t, because it is fairly obvious that you have no training in any of the aforementioned. And as for James Lyons-Weiler, he was trained as a geneticists and having read a number of his papers, all greatly flawed. I don’t want to spend money on his books; but if he wishes to send me complimentary copies c/o Every Child By Two, I would be happy to read them. They willl forward to me. As opposed to Gregg, though many years of education, training, and experience make me confident in the position I take, I do NOT assume I have G-d-like perfect knowledge and if I ever come across studies, etc. that contradict or even slightly modify my current position, I have NO problem adjusting. My ego isn’t tied to always being right; but to do my best and be open to admitting mistakes. However, so far, I haven’t seen anything that even remotely contradicts my position. As an example, read my paper on Polio on this blog.

Gregg justs ignores what others write, my self included, and as another commenter wrote, “just doubles down.”

“whereas many diagnosed with ASD in US is done by school counselors using a simple standardized test”

OMG. I’m not happy with that at all.

I have read (hearsay, I think over on ScienceBasedMedicine) that in some cases a diagnosis of autism is substituted for fetal alcohol syndrome, because autism doesn’t require placing blame the way FAS does.

And while the public health person in me wants accuracy in diagnosis and record keeping, a pragmatic part of me says “if it gets a kid the extra school support they need, it’s better than nothing”. No, it’s not right or good, but in the absence of a sufficient number of child psychiatrists, hopefully it’s better than nothing.

“No, it’s not right or good”

It’s definitely bad. Playing with diagnosis in this way ruined the life of my family. Long story.

I understand the “humanist” stance when it comes to lying in medical records, but bear in mind that a misdiagnosis, even with the best of intentions, can dramatically backfire as time goes on. Medical records have a life of their own, and lies shape their future.

F68.10, like I said, I don’t have the complete story, but I am not at all sure that a “diagnosis” by a school counselor would go into medical records rather than school records. It very likely depends on the state. (I can’t think of a mechanism in the US where school records and medical records are commingled except by the student or parents.)

Some kind of diagnosis is generally required to set up an Individual Education Plan (IEP), what used to be called special ed. Schools do get extra funding for kids with IEPs because they need more teachers and aids than kids without IEPs.

So, again, not right, not good, but likely in the US, given the fragmented nature of both school and medical records, not necessarily something that a person would have to carry around forever.

(I’m really sorry this has been messed up for you. That’s not right and no one should have to deal with it.)

“whereas many diagnosed with ASD in US is done by school counselors using a simple standardized test”

OMG. I’m not happy with that at all.

Cheer up, because that is not true. In our state school counselors are not sufficient. Not even high school psychologists… who told me she herself she was not qualified, but was the first person to utter the word autistic to me. Then she followed that my kid would have lost services by being thrown in a room based on the diagnosis and not on his needs.

Gregg justs ignores what others write, my self included, and as another commenter wrote, “just doubles down.”

Joel, I see you’re bent on dismissing my complaint of too quick of a cut-off date after the last birth cohort, yet consider this study is just the latest version of Madison et al 2002. That study also boasting of a huge sample size, over 500,000 cases, also relied on the same Danish database and with an almost identical methodology. The last birth cohort in that study was December 1998 and the study’s cut-off date was Jan 1 2000. Now Mr Harrison, you seem to prefer the opinions of those with ‘cred’, so here is what a few with ‘cred’ had to say about Madison et al.

Goldman and Yazbak, in a letter published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, pointed out the “substantial under-representation of autism diagnoses and vaccination status for children born in the later study years.[5]” Children with ASD in Denmark are diagnosed at about 5 years old; many were simply too young to receive an ASD diagnosis by the end of the study period. This would apply to all children under the age of 36 months and, in a practical sense, to many of the 3-5 year olds. Among children born in 1997 and 1998, who made up a substantial proportion (39%) of the total years of observation time, many had yet to even receive an MMR vaccine all.

WHAT THE COCHRANE REVIEW SAID:

■ Follow up on medical records terminated just one year after the last day of admission to the cohort. “Because of the length of time from birth to diagnosis, the Cochrane reviewers felt it became ’… increasingly unlikely that those born later in the cohort could have a diagnosis.”

https://www.ageofautism.com/2011/05/vaccines-and-autism-what-do-epidemiological-studies-really-tell-us.html

Mr Harrison, I am simply arguing these same points with this new study. Yes, there is a slight improvement with the cutoff coming three years after the last birth cohort, but mean age of diagnosis is also greater in this study, being over 7 years. Again, this would imply half the sample at the time of cutoff would’ve had only a mere 50% chance of being diagnosed. Who with a straight face will deny that likely there were serious missed cases with this study?

Something else that I also found interesting was Cochrane also criticized Madison et al for settling on age of diagnosis rather than age of when first signs of autism were noticed, and this study also reported this as one of its limitations. As for the short cutoff date things were completely mum. Hhhmmnn! I will also muse that surely these researchers were aware of Cochrane’s criticism of Madison et al short cutoff date but they still repeated the error. Hhhmmnnnn!

“Who with a straight face will deny that likely there were serious missed cases with this study?”

Whatever. If MMR causes autism, we should have seen an effect regardless of what you call “missed cases”.

You’re severely moving the goalposts.

Accept your defeat.

Set up a web page with some R analysis of the current data, and with the data corrected to take into account the “missed cases”. Just to show us how much you have to tweak the data to provide us with a significant effect. Stop gesticulating with the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons and get down to work.

First, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is the journal of a small fringe group of physicians. The organizations, about 4,000 strong: “The Washington Post summarized their beliefs as “doctors should be autonomous in treating their patients — with far fewer government rules, medical quality standards, insurance coverage limits and legal penalties when they make mistakes”. It opposed the Social Security Act of 1965 which established Medicare and Medicaid and encouraged member physicians to boycott Medicare and Medicaid.[11] The organization requires its members to sign a “declaration of independence” pledging that they will not work with Medicare, Medicaid, or even private insurance companies. AAPS opposes mandated evidence-based medicine and practice guidelines, and opposes electronic medical records.

In other words, no matter how egregious any of their members medical interventions are, actually hurting patients, among other things, they don’t think they should ever be held accountable. Yikes!

Articles and commentaries published in the journal have argued a number of non-mainstream or scientifically discredited claims, including:

that human activity has not contributed to climate change, and that global warming will be beneficial and thus not a cause for concern;[31][32]
that HIV does not cause AIDS;[33]
that the “gay male lifestyle” shortens life expectancy by 20 years.[34]
that there is a link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer.[7]
that there are possible links between autism and vaccinations.[7]
that government efforts to encourage smoking cessation and emphasize the addictiveness of nicotine are misguided.[35]

And their leader, Jane Orient condemns government because after umpteen doctors not assigned to a patient in a hospital, walked in the room, asked how he was doing, then billed Medicare, when she did it, Medicare finally denied a claim. No shit!

As for the Cochrane Collaboration, it is composed of groups in different nations, some quite excellent and others that have been strongly criticized for findings that contradict other reputable information syntheses and/or meta-analysis. Referring to a paper as a Cochrane paper, to some extent, would be likely referring to some local police department as representative of all police departments in US. Well, some actually are corrupt and some are superb. I actually took a graduate course in information synthesis and meta-analysis many eons ago when meta-analysis was taking off. Not all are equally good. Not every Cochrane affiliated group is equally reputable.

And, once again, I ask you what training you have. Without a strong basis in statistics, epidemiology, etc. one just picks what confirms ones bias, rather than carefully evaluating the methodology of each paper. In addition, did you actually read the Hviid study in its entirety or just the abstract or someone else’s summary?

Typical that someone like you would find one or two articles that confirm your beliefs. Check out the two papers I wrote posted by Science-Based Medicine. Lots of references and I actually read probably twice as many before writing the papers.

Feel free to keep calling me Mr. Harrison, just shows your need to attempt in your pathetic way to insult someone. Reflects more on you than on me. Mr Harrison was my father who I was very close with. I am either Dr. Harrison or Joel. Don’t really care which.

WHAT THE COCHRANE REVIEW SAID

Jesus, Gerg has been trotting this one out for at least five years and has never cited the review. It’s here (PDF). The magic blurb is on page 59.

“Gregg justs ignores what others write, my self included, and as another commenter wrote, just doubles down.”

Yup. No matter what is written, no matter how often, no matter how substantive. Engaging him is more than an exercise in futility. It’s a form of self-abuse. And an intellectual capitulation. AVers simply refuse to ‘play by the rules’ of legitimate argumentation, ethics, etc. Every pro-science/pro-vax commenter here should know that. Continuing to engage them validates their discursive nihilism. “Ignore and double-down” is the modus operendi of the psycho-social pathology of denialism. I’m womndering if playing along, feeding the trollis, isn’t just another form of denialism… Denying the evidence of how screwed up these folks, their stances, and playing along with them actually are…

There’s no reason to limit inquiries about the connection between vaccines and autism to the MMR vaccine. While it’s a common suspect, it’s not the only one. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded compensation in many cases where autism was among the list of injuries. It’s just that the underlying physical injury that led to the autism, such as encephalitis, was compensated, not the autism. (Unanwered Questions: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, Mary Holland, Louis Conte, Robert Krakow and Lisa Colin, Pace Environmental Law Review, vol. 28, no. 2, 2011.)

Autism is a behavioral diagnosis, not a medical one. There is no physical test,such as a blood, urine or genetic test, to diagnose it. It is done by observing and testing behavior, and making a judgement call about whether the symptoms satisfy the criteria in the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Presumably autism has some physical cause or many causes, but they aren’t understood. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. If it were well-understood, we would have an objective physical test for it, or at least certainty about what needs to be tested. There are multiple suspects, such as vaccines, chemical exposures, ultrasound, genetic factors, etc., and it could be caused by many factors working alone or in concert.

There’s a strong positive correlation between the rapidly escalating childhood vaccine schedule and autism diagnoses (as well as a lot of other serious physical and psychological problems in children), and independent evidence to suspect the correlation could be indicative of causation. You can argue about the weight of the evidence all you want to, but until someone comes up with some answers, any scientist or doctor with integrity would keep it on the table, and would certainly never falsely claim there is compelling proof vaccines cannot cause autism.

Ouch. Where do we start?

“any scientist or doctor with integrity would keep it on the table, and would certainly never falsely claim there is compelling proof vaccines cannot cause autism.”

Any self-respecting scientist that has looked at the evidence would claim that there is no rational reason to believe vaccines cause autism.

Does that make you feel better?

It’s just that the underlying physical injury that led to the autism, such as encephalitis, was compensated, not the autism. (Unanwered Questions: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, Mary Holland, Louis Conte, Robert Krakow and Lisa Colin, Pace Environmental Law Review, vol. 28, no. 2, 2011.)

Holland et al. has been addressed, Ginny.

There’s no reason to limit inquiries about the connection between vaccines and autism to the MMR vaccine. While it’s a common suspect, it’s not the only one.

There isn’t and there have been other studies aside from MMR and others forthcoming. But this one is about MMR so why can’t you accept or reject the study based upon that hypothesis instead of hand-waving?

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded compensation in many cases where autism was among the list of injuries.

More hand-waving. It wouldn’t be unusual for children with an ASD to have been compensated for a vaccine injury. Autism has never been compensated.

Autism is a behavioral diagnosis, not a medical one. There is no physical test,such as a blood, urine or genetic test, to diagnose it.

I’ll have to remember you said this because it completely invalidates anything you say regarding vaccines being causal for autism. If vaccines were causing autism, there would be some kind of or set of consistent markers.

Presumably autism has some physical cause or many causes, but they aren’t understood.

I guess we can add this to the list of things you don’t know about autism.

There’s a strong positive correlation between the rapidly escalating childhood vaccine schedule and autism diagnoses (as well as a lot of other serious physical and psychological problems in children),

There is also a strong positive correlation between changes in diagnostic criteria and awareness and expansion of catchment and the increased prevalence of autism.

and independent evidence to suspect the correlation could be indicative of causation.

And this evidence would be?

You can argue about the weight of the evidence all you want to, but until someone comes up with some answers, any scientist or doctor with integrity would keep it on the table, and would certainly never falsely claim there is compelling proof vaccines cannot cause autism.

And that is where you would be wrong yet again. We can effectively rule something out without knowing what the aetiology of something is; it is so wrong-headed to make the assumption that an aetiology must be elucidated in order to be able to dismiss other possibilities.

We can effectively rule something out without knowing what the aetiology of something is

Wait, miasms are out?

Actually, the testing to diagnose autism is pretty intensive when done by the person with the right experience and credentials to do so. I say that having been through that testing twice (once as a child and once as an adult).

You try to actually diminish the autism diagnosis by calling it a behavioral diagnosis, which isn’t true and is curious.

Encephalitis doesn’t lead to autism. It leads to brain damage, which can lead to behaviors that look like autism but is not autism. That’s why it’s compensated, and autism isn’t.

And I didn’t even have to read Dorit’s article to know that. Thanks for the cite, Narad. I hadn’t read this one so it’s one for my files 🙂

But wait, Gerg called autism “Brain Damage” which means that it should be easy to test for it, right?

Re autism is brain damage.

As I’ve said previously, the use of the term “brain damage” is semantics. Anti vaccination advocates have to use this term because this is the bedrock of their claim – vaccines “damage” the brain – this “damage” causes ASD.

On an aside, does any one else wonder what happened to thoes 203 children who “disappeared” from the registries? Cue the music from “The X Files”? Funny, but that was the first thing that struck me when I looked at the report.

Yep, some diagnosed with ASD go through a battery of tests and observations and others less so. Just how it is. Actually ASD is a behavioral diagnosis. Knowing that someone had encephalitis doesn’t mean that they have biopsied the brain or done an MRI that clearly shows an anomaly. Many who have had encephalitis go on to live normal lives with no obvious disabilities. In addition, the Vaccine Court, in order to get people to accept vaccines, bends over backwards, within reason, to make awards for “possible” vaccine injuries. In other countries with universal healthcare and other programs much of the Vaccine Court payouts would be unnecessary.

One of my closest friends in Sweden fourth child was born with Down Syndrome. Kids with Down Syndrome often have heart valve defects and hip dysplasia. In Sweden excellent surgery completely free. A van picked him up every day to go to a special school with the goal, if possible, of mainstreaming him. Once every quarter, a trained home aid would stay at their home over the weekend so they could have a respite and when he became an adult, depending on level he reached Sweden arranges special living quarters, etc.

While no nation is perfect, whether a kid develops encephalitis without any prior vaccinations or with some temporal relationship, in Sweden he is cared for.

Unfortunately, in US parents often have to go to Vaccine Court to get the funds for helping their child. If they are lucky the Court will rule in their favor. To some extent this forces parents to focus on vaccines, blame the condition on something, whereas in countries like Sweden kids get help regardless of having to fight to get it. And no one considers that, even if the vaccine did play a role, that if the attenuated or killed microbe could cause this, then if no vaccine existed and the full strength microbe attacked the kid, same or worse would have occurred. As for the adjuvants:

albumen is the protein that egg whites are composed of and our blood
aluminum is everywhere and kids get more from breast milk or formula daily

etc.

In any case, sounds like your diagnostic experience was a good one. Glad to hear it.

“To some extent this forces parents to focus on vaccines, blame the condition on something, whereas in countries like Sweden kids get help regardless of having to fight to get it.”

That’s a very important point IMHO. Managing the public perception of medicine is also an integral part of medicine. Unfortunately, skepticism is not the right tool for every problem.

And a correlation has been found between the increasing choice of organic foods and autism spectrum disorder diagnoses and also number of cell phones and autism spectrum disorders.

Since Congress added autism as a disability category to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the number of students receiving special education services in this category has increased over 900 percent nationally. The number of students receiving assistance under the special education category of autism over the past decade has increased from 1.5 percent to 9 percent of all identified disabilities.

Do you really believe that the 900 percent had nothing to do with IDEA?

Obviously you didn’t read my first comment above. Oh well.

As for compelling proof, in science we don’t prove anything. Proof is a term associated with classic logic. In science we confirm or reject a hypothesis based on the evidence; but only assign probabilities. If we conducted 100 extremely well-designed studies, our confidence would be very high; but scientists don’t or, at least, shouldn’t make absolute statements. Think of the law of gravity. Can you absolutely claim that somewhere at sometime on planet Earth that some weird confluence of cosmic forces didn’t nullify the law of gravity. Well, I for one aren’t going to spend any sleepless nights worrying about it. Try reading Carl Sagan’s last book “The Demon Haunted World.”

“Do you really believe that the 900 percent had nothing to do with IDEA?”

Isn’t that borderline malingering?

“You can argue about the weight of the evidence all you want to, but until someone comes up with some answers, any scientist or doctor with integrity would keep it on the table, and would certainly never falsely claim there is compelling proof vaccines cannot cause autism.”

Indeed. It’s disappointing that the hypothesis that autism is caused by refrigerator mothers is not taken seriously anymore either – or the idea that autism is caused by elves stealing children and leaving changelings behind. We must keep our minds as open as possible to all possibilities, and rejecting an idea just because study after study finds no evidence for it is ridiculous. How can we hope to find the real cause of autism unless we continue to look in the same places that found no evidence before?

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network

The ADDM Network is a group of programs funded by CDC to estimate the number of children with ASD and other developmental disabilities living in different areas of the United States. [currently 11 sites]

CDC identifies these children through a process known as active record review. In this process, records are reviewed every other year for children who are or will turn 8 years of age within the year of interest and live with a parent or guardian . . . Trained abstractors review records and abstract detailed information at multiple health and education sources (such as clinics and schools) that evaluate and provide services to children with developmental disabilities.

Note that the goal is to “estimate” the number of kids with ASD and this includes education sources, schools. So, school psychologist can make the diagnosis. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is a medical or educational diagnosis; but that in order to arrive at an estimate, the CDC uses some of these diagnoses. A team of experts evaluate the abstracted records to see if they fit criteria for inclusion; but no where does CDC mention who, professional title, conducted the original evaluation

@Beth

Could you please provide any links or quotes from the study where it was claimed that there were no significant correlations for the separate birth cohorts.

Read the study and do your own homework, Greg. It is open access and there is a link in the CNN article as well.

It does note that the highest HR (risk of autism diagnosis) is for boys born in a late birth cohort (2008-2010). I also noted that autism incidence climbs steadily from before age 3, so the Danes aren’t waiting till age 5 to make a diagnosis.

Towards the end, it states “However, birth cohort–specific HRs were homogeneous” (albeit about discussing the impact the strain of vaccine had).

Look at figure 3 too. And table 3 of the supplement.

I’m no expert.

Towards the end, it states “However, birth cohort–specific HRs were homogeneous” (albeit about discussing the impact the strain of vaccine had).

Look at figure 3 too. And table 3 of the supplement.

I’m no expert.

My question is straight forward, is there anything from this study explaining that no link for MMR was found for the separate cohorts? Beth appeared to have made this claim but I haven’t found anything supporting it.

Did you read what Orac wrote ? He has a plot showing cumulative autism incidence by age group, for vaccinated and unvaccinated. Curiously MMR vaccine seems to be protective against late diagnosed autism, but this is another thing.

I’m sorry; I should not have said that as I did. I made the computations myself using the data from the Table and figure 3. If you are interested, I can email you my computations. There are, in fact, some statistically significant differences between MMR vaccinated versus MMR unvaccinated children in the raw numbers reported for this study, but the direction is the opposite of what you are expecting which is why I made the statement I did. It indicates that fewer MMR vaccinated children have been diagnosed with autism. The statistical significance of this apparently falls away in their analysis that takes account of other variables as they report a p-value of > 0.2 for the cohorts (figure 3).

In all but one of the subgroups they analyzed, the MMR vaccinated group had a lower autism rate than the MMR not-vaccinated group. (The only exception was for the father unknown group and the difference was minimal.) The cohorts do differ significantly from each other with autism rates being lower for younger cohorts based on the data they reported in their paper. The numbers they published indicate the autism rate was 1.71% for the oldest cohort (1999-2001) and decreases by ~0.5% for each later cohort with the youngest cohort (2008-2010) having an autism rate of only 0.20%. I do not understand why they made the claim that being born in a late birth cohort was a higher risk for autism, but they might have included age when diagnosis was made in their analysis so it could relate to the probability of being diagnosed by age 2, age 3, etc. with the youngest cohort having a higher probability of being diagnosed at a young age.

@Kelly We know that autism is genetic, even though we do not know how genes cause it. Care to comment twin studies ?

First, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is the journal of a small fringe group of physicians. The organizations, about 4,000 strong: “The Washington Post summarized their beliefs as “doctors should be autonomous in treating their patients — with far fewer government rules, medical quality standards, insurance coverage limits and legal penalties when they make mistakes”. It opposed the Social Security Act of 1965 which established Medicare and Medicaid and encouraged member physicians to boycott Medicare and Medicaid.[11] The organization requires its members to sign a “declaration of independence” pledging that they will not work with Medicare, Medicaid, or even private insurance companies. AAPS opposes mandated evidence-based medicine and practice guidelines, and opposes electronic medical records.

In other words, no matter how egregious any of their members medical interventions are, actually hurting patients, among other things, they don’t think they should ever be held accountable. Yikes!

Articles and commentaries published in the journal have argued a number of non-mainstream or scientifically discredited claims, including:

that human activity has not contributed to climate change, and that global warming will be beneficial and thus not a cause for concern;[31][32]
that HIV does not cause AIDS;[33]
that the “gay male lifestyle” shortens life expectancy by 20 years.[34]
that there is a link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer.[7]
that there are possible links between autism and vaccinations.[7]
that government efforts to encourage smoking cessation and emphasize the addictiveness of nicotine are misguided.[35]

And their leader, Jane Orient condemns government because after umpteen doctors not assigned to a patient in a hospital, walked in the room, asked how he was doing, then billed Medicare, when she did it, Medicare finally denied a claim. No shit!

As for the Cochrane Collaboration, it is composed of groups in different nations, some quite excellent and others that have been strongly criticized for findings that contradict other reputable information syntheses and/or meta-analysis. Referring to a paper as a Cochrane paper, to some extent, would be likely referring to some local police department as representative of all police departments in US. Well, some actually are corrupt and some are superb. I actually took a graduate course in information synthesis and meta-analysis many eons ago when meta-analysis was taking off. Not all are equally good. Not every Cochrane affiliated group is equally reputable.

And, once again, I ask you what training you have. Without a strong basis in statistics, epidemiology, etc. one just picks what confirms ones bias, rather than carefully evaluating the methodology of each paper. In addition, did you actually read the Hviid study in its entirety or just the abstract or someone else’s summary?

Typical that someone like you would find one or two articles that confirm your beliefs. Check out the two papers I wrote posted by Science-Based Medicine. Lots of references and I actually read probably twice as many before writing the papers.

Feel free to keep calling me Mr. Harrison, just shows your need to attempt in your pathetic way to insult someone. Reflects more on you than on me. Mr Harrison was my father who I was very close with. I am either Dr. Harrison or Joel. Don’t really care which.

Joel, Dr Harrison, Joel, come over here you big-lug, let me give you a hug. There, wasn’t that nice? We should have more of these touching moments between provaxxers and antivaxxers. Kinda like the Germans and Allies dropping their weapons in W2 for a pickup game of soccer.

Now Joel, Dr Harrison, Joel, as I pointed out and Orac also pointed out, this study is just a followup to Madison et al, known colloquially as the Danish study. Now, as I explained, I am sure these researchers were well aware of the criticism of a too quick cut-off date leveled at Madison et al. Now Dr Harrison, Joel, Dr Harrison, imagine you want to do a follow-up to prove yet again that MMR is ‘cool’, and ‘science’ is not complicit in one of the greatest holocaust in the history of our existence, involving the pernicious, evil, treacherous act of poisoning generations of kids — kids for Christ sake! — on epidemic scales… Imagine you want to put this debate to bed, so why in the hell would you not heed the criticism of Madison et al by making sure a quick cutoff date is avoided, and by so doing evading criticisms from worthless, not worthy of holding your jockstrap, dregs such as me, AAPs, and Cochrane?!

If you will excuse me as I let my conspiracy freak-flag fly, I will say its obvious why these researchers keep going back to the quick cut-off well. It’s the most effective way of dropping cases and concealing a link outside of shifty manipulations and outright fraud.

Madison et al

Three tries, and he can’t get “Madsen” right. This is of course the hallmark of a careful thinker.

“‘science’ is not complicit in one of the greatest holocaust in the history of our existence, involving the pernicious, evil, treacherous act of poisoning generations of kids”

The question is how can you be so sure of your beliefs. You have zilch, nada, to support your claim.

As for science, though I myself am critical of what it claims to be able to discern, as far as it goes has evidence to support that MMR does not cause autism. It may very hypothetically be mistaken, but in no way complicit.

And “greatest holocaust”… learn to discipline your language to avoid making you look like an utter fool.

Like any good little AV-er he needs it spoonfed and ‘splained to him.

Science Mom, can you please mind your own business. That question was for my good friend, fellow antivaxxer, Beth. Beth is an antivaxxer because she keeps asking questions about vaccines.

Aw, touched a nerve there Greg? It’s spelt out for you by our host if you bothered to read the post sans reading the study instead of a regurgitated anti-vaxx version of it. Didn’t Lyons-Weiler explain that part?

Thanks Science Mom, but after rereading the study’s methodology and results it appears nothing was mentioned about study MMR/autism effects for different birth cohorts. I believe Beth was mistaken about this and I am hoping she will follow-up.

Greg, you would also do well to familiarise yourself with the diagnostic codes used, particularly F84.0 and F84.1 that are the more profound types of autism, and while the former is usually diagnosed around the age of 3, the latter is usually due to accompaniment of mental retardation and evident at an early age. Given what you anti-vaxxers claim, particularly your heinous description of autistic disorder and the timing of symptoms, the typical age of diagnosis does not fit well with your complaint that the cut-off was too early to magically capture a ludicrous number of autistics.

“Thanks Science Mom, but after rereading the study’s methodology and results it appears nothing was mentioned about study MMR/autism effects for different birth cohorts. I believe Beth was mistaken about this and I am hoping she will follow-up.”

You’re confusing your own limitations with evidence.

Beth has informed the internet over on ScieneBasedMedicine that she is a professional contrarian.

Imagine you want to put this debate to bed, so why in the hell would you not heed the criticism of Madison et al by making sure a quick cutoff date is avoided, and by so doing evading criticisms from worthless, not worthy of holding your jockstrap, dregs such as me, AAPs, and Cochrane?!

Of course, if he did that, you and your buds would find some other stupid nitpicked objection, wouldn’t you? You always do.

@ Gregg, Beth, etc:

Gregg writes: “They’re freaking saying that the freaking median age of diagnosis was freaking over 7 YEARS! With some of the younger kids, they would’ve only been freaking 3 or 4 at the freaking study’s cutoff date!

Actually the study states: “The mean age at first autism diagnosis was 7.22 years (SD, 2.86), and the mean age among autistic disorder cases was 6.17 years (SD, 2.65).”

Median does mean that half of kids would be over and half under; but mean can be influenced by a few high scores. Imagine 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,10,14. The median would be 3; but the mean would be 41/10 = 4.1. So, it is quite possible that adding even a couple of years more to the follow-up would have added only a few and as I pointed out in an earlier comment, even if the 20% Gregg claims were included, given the total life-years involved it would not have affected the result as I pointed out in a previous comment. Note also the Standard Deviation was 2.86 which means a reasonable probability that the actual time of diagnosis average could have been closer to 4 years of age, and, yes, could have been older, except we know from extensive studies that ASD noticeable before 5, which as Dorit points out antivaccinationists claim it would be apparent soon after vaccination, so, given Denmark’s social and medical system, more likely the actual mean was closer to lower score.

Also Beth Clarkson writes: “The authors divide the data into several birth cohorts. The data actually show higher rates of autism for the oldest cohorts, which might be due to the effect you have mentioned, but the MMR vaccination does not show statistical significance for any of the birth cohorts.”

Unfortunately she also writes: “they don’t look at the two subgroups (black males and mitochondrial disease) that have been claimed to show significant differences by the two CDC doctors who have provided testimony regarding the CDC suppressing publications of those findings.”

Just to make quite clear, the finding that black males under 3 years of age was based on a subgroup analysis, not the analysis of the key hypotheses of the study. The number of Black boys under 3 was extremely low so that, at best, the finding as all subgroup analyses could lead to a hypothesis for a future research project, not for drawing any conclusions. However, antivaccinationist play it up, proof of Thompson, the so-called whistleblower’s veracity; but, somehow, they ignore that the rest of the analysis found vaccines safe. In other words, Thompson is credible when he says anything they believe it; but not credible otherwise. Yikes! I should also point out that antivaccinationists claim CDC destroyed the data by shredding the printed output. Well, over the years I collected literally thousands of photocopied articles and reprints. Finally, I spent a month looking for the articles on line and those I couldn’t find, went to a friend’s office and scanned them in. Got rid of 15 boxes. All the articles are on my computer, filed under various headings, in my iCloud account, on a backup hard drive and burned to DVDs. Well, one of the antivaccinations, Brian Hooker, request the datafile from the CDC, received it, did his own analysis, using the absolute wrong statistic for the studies design, got it published, and because of wrong stat, retracted. Antivaccinationists still cite the study and still claim CDC destroyed the data.

Just to reiterate Dorit writes: “A. Your quote said mean, not median. “B. You haven’t actually responded to the point, which is that the claim of the antivaccine movement is not that mmr at one leads to autism at seven, but that it’s pretty immediate or at least close in time. If it were true, this study would show it.”

And the fact that antivaccinationists attacked Madsen’s study doesn’t mean their critique was valid; but, of course, for you it has to be.

Gregg: One simple question: Have you ever considered, even if odds 1000 to 1, that you might be wrong?

As I wrote in a previous comment, though I’ve been at this almost 1/2 century and since I never married, nor had kids, prefer my books and a dog, or going to seminars, watching documentaries, I try to read multi-sides on crucial issues and if new research were to find, for instance, even a small subset of kids that a vaccine contributed to ASD, I would consider it, and change my position; but so far what I’ve found is more and more studies that find brain anomalies in first trimester. And even Leo Kanner in his 1943 articles stated it was genetic. The findings of regressive behaviors also have found certain genetic disorders that without vaccines or any other environmental input lead to regression, e.g. Rhett Syndrome.

@ Joel A, Harrison, PhD, MPH:

Just a question:
what do you think INNOCULATES general readers from anti-vax beliefs?

I have suspicions but I’d like to hear your own. There have been a few studies about what types of people ( personality, style etc) are least resistant but I wonder myself mostly about how much educational history ( courses and critical thinking focus) might be involved.
For myself, when I first heard about AJW’s study soon after it occurred, I thought, “There must be something wrong”. Later, as I related at RI, I calmed my cousin down ( Oct. 2001) when his son was born. I think what I studied related to neurophysiology was most important and obviously, the loads of statistics I had to take as requirements for degrees. And cognitive development.

As you may know, I read many anti-vax leaders and am constantly astonished by how they accept utter nonsense ( AoA, TMR)- most of them are “well educated” by societal standards** but seriously deficient in whatever it takes to be realistic about vaccines.

** usually having university degrees but probably little focus on bio, physio, maths etc. A few have graduate degrees in business.
But then, we DO have anti-vaxxers who studied medicine etc.

Rand Paul is an ophthalmologist, not an expert in infectious diseases. In addition, he is a rigid ideologue, a rabid Libertarian, which colors everything he does. Libertarians forget we live in often dense urban environments. If one carries their beliefs to extremes, quarantine laws would be illegal, storing combustibles on ones property would be legal, ad infinitum. Suzanne Humphries who I wrote one article with more to follow also wrote an autobiography which I am reading where she has found the “True Religion.” Not just “Christianity” but the true version of it. Andrew Wakefield earned something like $700,000 over a few years, above his full-time salary, as a consultant on a lawsuit by families blaming vaccines, received a grant based on an application that he would show that vaccines cause autism; however, in his 1998 study he didn’t use the grant money; but recruited kids from the lawsuit or JABS, an UK antivaccine group collaborating with the lawsuit, then asked the parents what they thought caused their kids autism. Golly gee, he knew how they would answer in advance. In the US there are probably more than one million MDs or DOs, I’m sure there are some who believe in demon possession, alien abduction, and we know, despite any scientific basis that some practice homeopathy, etc. Going through med school only means one is good at learning a subject to pass exams, etc. doesn’t mean they ever believed it or that something happens that changes their “personalities”, belief in science later. If one needs to regurgitate some information to get ahead in life, doesn’t mean one necessarily believes it. And some just cash in on it. Alternative med approaches are inexpensive and they often charge an arm and a leg. And some may have honestly believed that something was helping their patients; but when studies showed it was harmful, they couldn’t admit to themselves that they were responsible, so they just reject. So antivaccinationists can always find someone. Wakefield, for instance, may have originally believed he was on the side of the angels, even if his 1998 study was fraudulent; but as more and more studies rejected his conclusions, and he lost his medical license, how else would he earn a living; but by becoming the darling of antivaccinationists, and, this could be either conscious or unconscious.

Just for a point of interest, if you look at the actual Thompson documents, they never did a race by sex analysis. The statistical significant result in the raw, unadjusted data was by race generally (and disappeared after adjusting).

I think the first source for the race by sex was Hooker’s problematic analysis.

Hi Dorit: I will have to dig up the original study; but William Thompson stated:

“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub­ group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”

So, whether he is telling the truth or trying to side with Brian Hooker, I can’t know; but Thompson does claim the analysis was done and then withheld from the published paper. Notice, however, that despite everything, he strongly supports vaccines.

He may just not be remembering the exact analysis he did 10 years before. He’s speaking after Hooker did his analysis, after all. I had the advantage of having a chance to look at his tables, he was likely drafting this in some haste.

In other anti-vax news:

TMR’s “Professor” ( today), whilst quoting surveys of places with best/ worst child health, attributes the worst to vaccines.
Of course, the worst places have uh… other issues like poverty, less government spending etc. BUT it’s vaccines.

In other skeptical news…

Helen Buyniski ( PRN.fm) uncovers the Truth about Susan Gerbic and Wikipedia: they are not “science”- says someone who writes articles with Gary Null.

Joel Harrison: “Andrew Wakefield earned something like $700,000 over a few years, above his full-time salary, as a consultant on a lawsuit by families blaming vaccines, received a grant based on an application that he would show that vaccines cause autism; however, in his 1998 study he didn’t use the grant money; but recruited kids from the lawsuit or JABS, an UK antivaccine group collaborating with the lawsuit,”

Not saying you’re wrong, Joel, but what’s your source for what Wakefield did (or didn’t do) with the payment to which you refer (which I assume is the dough he got from the lawyers’ group, about $674,000 as I recall)?

If I recall, the BMC hearings. The point is that by working on the lawsuit and clearly applying for a grant to “prove” the relationship between MMR and autism, then claiming 12 kids in 1998 study were on regular referral list when they were recruited from lawsuit and JABS, certainly proves his bias and that he knew the answer to his question in advance.

Golly gee, I could interview five people on the best pizza in town. If they work for the pizza place they give as an answer, well . . .

Oh man, Julian! I literally just came here to post that after reading it yesterday. I’ve got to be quicker on the uptake.

My favorite line is a footnote to one of the tables: “Note the examples given here are intended only to illustrate the methodological flaws. Quantifying and enumerating the number of flaws in this thesis was not possible within the word limit of a journal article.”

That’s some sick burn for a journal article.

It’s a very well-written article and accessible to non-scientists.

That’s an excellent find.. as seen in the example given where Ms Wilyman purported to be an “expert” in vaccinations in a court case the harm caused by this sham of a doctorate goes far beyond some narcissist wanting a PHD she can use to impress people at dinner parties.

She’s rather clearly demonstrated that she intends to use it to try and lend some veneer of authority to her antics. Despicable woman.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH:

Thanks for your input. You too, DB.

Perhaps what I’m asking is more along the lines of:
when people encounter woo ( and I mean really unbelievable stuff: green juices cure cancer, vaccines cause autism, hiv./aids is imaginary, GMOs are evil incarnate: the stuff I monitor everyday) why do they not detect that it’s BS, a ploy to make money and that the hatred expressed by woo-slingers for SB people may merely be a function of being denied entry to those elitist halls of higher education/ research and only being a legend in one’s own mind.

Don’t consumers see through the ruses? I know , I know, they don’t.
How can we help?

“Don’t consumers see through the ruses?”

I’ve always seen through all these ruses because of my mindset. Unfortunately, that’s the exact same mindset that made me distrust doctors, which I still do to this day.

So seeing through the ruses is not enough.

“How can we help?”

By studying all the varieties of abnormal illness behaviors in detail, falling for woo included. Reducing the problem to one of delusions is not addressing the fundamentals: potentially “abnormal” mental representations of health and illness in self and others. Some are more susceptible to woo than others, but I’d argue almost everyone has abnormal mental representations of health and illness, and they can be exploited by woomeisters. And I would be very much curious to know WHY doctors fall for woo themselves…

To start with, change our educational system. Studies have shown that up to 80% of American don’t understand the basics of science nor critical thinking. Start early, elementary school, including teaching them to NOT rely on 30 second soundbites, nor single or even a few sources.

Second, get people in touch with themselves. I was always taught that a big person is someone who admits their mistakes; but most people can cite the phrase; but don’t follow it. I remember in school that if a student raised his/her hand, gave the wrong answer, teacher avoided calling on them again. In some classes, a good teacher would say, interesting try, what makes you think so, and gradually lead them to the correct answer. We learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

And I would recommend three books to start with to everyone: Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson “Mistakes were made (but not by me!)” Two well-known social psychologist explain why it is so difficult for people to admit they are wrong.

One other great book is: Christopher P. Toumey “Conjuring Science: Scientific Symbols and Cultural Meanings in American Life.”

David J. Hand “The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day.”

All three easy reads with fascinating examples. The latter show with simple probability theory that lightning does strike twice in same place, that you only need 23 people in room to have 50% chance that two have same birthday, etc. Bottom line, what what antivaccinationists see as caused by vaccines because they assume rare otherwise, not so.

Actually add Carl Sagan’s book “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”

I could list many more; but the above are a good start.

I think part of the problem is that our politicians, people in power, don’t really want people to think for themselves, otherwise during elections they wouldn’t spend so much money on 30-second soundbites, posters, etc. So, many of our schools act accordingly. I actually read an article that nowadays at many colleges they are afraid to fail students, even give them low grades. I remember when I went to Sweden with a Masters Degree, fellow doctoral students with a Swedish BA were almost as well prepared as me and those graduating from a 4-year gymnasium (high school) were fluent at 2 foreign languages and could read a third, had calculus, and the chemistry and physics was equivalent of community colleges. Of course Sweden also had schools that were not college prep; but still most who I met were better educated than I was when I graduated high school.

And Sweden doesn’t have anti-evolutionists and fundamentalists on school boards!

There’s something to your comment about 30 second sound bites.

When I was in 6th grade, a good part of my English class was devoted to learning how to read a newspaper: how to break down an article, how to identify bias.

Now we’re lucky if the kids can even read by the 6th grade.

Is this a big mystery? Look at what’s going on with Glyphosate right now. We’ve been told through numerous studies that doesn’t cause cancer. Well.. maybe it does? Flint and many other cities are being told their water is safe to drink.. well maybe it’s not? People keep saying there’s nothing wrong with vaccines and yet billions are being paid out, so maybe they aren’t entirely safe?

Look at what’s going on with __________ right now. We’ve been told through numerous studies that doesn’t cause ______. Well.. maybe it does?

Mad Libs, anyone?

“Look at what’s going on with Glyphosate right now. We’ve been told through numerous studies that doesn’t cause cancer.”

What’s going on with glyphosate right now, in my view, is that regulatory authorities in the European Union are being forced to disclose the studies. That’s a good development in my opinion.

The fact remains that as far as we know, glyphosate is more dangerous to bees than to humans. Insisting that it provokes cancer is a DIVERSION from the two problem it poses: (1) problems to bees, and (2) problems to regulatory authorities…

“Look at what’s going on with Glyphosate right now. ..”

And that has a relevance in vaccines how?

Okay, the first MMR was approved in the USA in 1971. The second version with an improved rubella component was approved in 1978. which was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Vaccine Elimination Program. Please post the verifiable documentation before 1990 that there was a significant increase in autism diagnosis in the 1970s and 1980s coincident with MMR usage.

Make sure to specify the DSM diagnosis used. For instance, you cannot use DSM IV before 1994. Stick to DSM II or III.

@Questions: What’s your point? That there are “conspiracies”? Granted. That you’ll be able to pinpoint them? Not granted.

Hey, “Questions”, did you even understand my reply to you? Do you even know what the “DSM” changes were, why they changed and what effect those changes had?

These studies could be better. They have enough resources to make it happen, but they don’t do it. The bigger issue going on right now are the laws swarming the country to mandate vaccines. Whether you are for or against vaccines, being forced to get them, is very dangerous.

I don’t know what you mean by quarantine laws, but if there is some type of outbreak, it makes since to stay home from school.

So you just want to throw people in Prison for not vaccinating? I didn’t realize we we’re in a police state

“So you just want to throw people in Prison for not vaccinating? I didn’t realize we we’re in a police state”

No. When there is a contagious disease outbreak. Probably not prison, but a hospital where they will be secluded.

I do not want anything personally. I just do not believe that society will refuse to choose between vaccination and quarantine. Would you?

Isn’t it normal to seclude someone who has a disease when it’s highly contagious? I didn’t think this was a permanent thing.

“Isn’t it normal to seclude someone who has a disease when it’s highly contagious? I didn’t think this was a permanent thing.”

I’m not saying it’s not. I just mean that you have a choice as a society to either vaccinate people, or risk disease outbreaks and potentially quarantine. You were concerned about being “forced” to vaccinate, as it did ruffle you, but you were not considering the fact that people who get ill are “forced” to get treatment, which may translate as quarantine. If you’re concerned about being “forced”, you should consider both sides of the equation to determine your position.

So you just want to throw people in Prison for not vaccinating? I didn’t realize we we’re in a police state

It is sooo unfair that Mary Mallon wasn’t allowed to work in her chosen vocation.

“It is sooo unfair that Mary Mallon wasn’t allowed to work in her chosen vocation.”

Well, honestly, I do consider fates like this to be sadder than the terminally ill cancer patient. Personal bias.

Whether you are for or against vaccines, being forced to get them, is very dangerous.

Haven’t we (tinw) already been through this? Nobody’s being “forced” to receive vaccinations, not even in the military. There just happen to be consequences to one’s actions.

These studies could be better.

How so? And give evidence to support your claim.
There is a meta-analysis looking at if MMR causes autism that involved over 14 million subjects. At that level, if the MMR caused even a minority of cases of autism, it would have been detected.
You are asking questions and raising arguments that have been respectively answered and refuted multiple times already.

@ F68.10

You write: “The fact remains that as far as we know, glyphosate is more dangerous to bees than to humans. Insisting that it provokes cancer is a DIVERSION from the two problem it poses: (1) problems to bees, and (2) problems to regulatory authorities…”

Colony Collapse, loss of most bees. If we don’t stop it, it will be a direct threat to us worse than cancer because we will lose a large percentage of our food supply.

Most of our food supply is wind pollinated, actually. (That is grains, and grass for cows.)

“Most of our food supply is wind pollinated, actually. (That is grains, and grass for cows.)”

This is exactly the kind of misleading “fact” presented by AGW deniers as ‘scientific argument’. So what if most crops are wind pollinated? We’re talking about eco-systems here, so it’s not like everything else just goes on hunky dory if all the bee colonies collapse. And it’s not just bees. All sorts of insects are disappearing, posing problems for the food-chain. As Narad says of the beepocalypse, there’s no one villain for the wider bugpocalypse, but glyphosate is in the mix if for no other reason than loss of habitat.

Glyphosate is an example of how science can be shortsighted. If you’re asking the wrong questions, it doesn’t matter that you get the correct answers. We test the safety of glyphosate in isolation, and find out it’s not so bad. Then we check to see if consuming GMO crops is dangerous, and discover its not. But that doesn’t tell us what the environmental impact will be if GMO crops attain a functional monopoly in agribusiness and a whole lot more glyphosate gets dumped all over the place.

This shortsightedness is evidence that the work of science is ALWAYS constrained by the larger contexts of social/economic/political influence and power.

@ Aarno

Most of our food supply is wind pollinated, actually. (That is grains, and grass for cows.)

That’s nice, but our diet is not just grains and grass (w/ or w/o cows as middleman). A good number of food found in orchards and vegetable gardens do need some pollinators, starting with apples.
I don’t think going back to diets consisting of mostly one cereal and a few roots is for the best of humanity.

Actually, “most of our food supply” is misleading. According to this article, the pollinator-dependent food amount to 35% of what we eat. I won’t call that meaningless. But again, I like variety in what I eat.
In addition, list of plants needing bees of one sort or another

@ Sadmar

Glyphosate is an example of how science can be shortsighted.

Not just science, it was a true collaborative effort from all strates of our societies, from politicians to agribusinesses to farmers. Stupidity by committee.
(not that I would have done any better).

I remember being oh-so disappointed when the first GMO crops were trotted out. Their trait? Reduced need for water, enriched in nutrients, resistance to pests? Perish the thought! Let’s make them resistant to biocides, like some common engineered bacteria on a Petri dish, and call it a day. What we use as a selective trait in our bacteria was the sold trait in the first GMO plants. Talk about low-hanging fruit…
There are days I think that GMO tech should never have left academic labs. Agribusinesses have just been squandering it, in their course for short-term profit.
And then I remember that academics can muck up a job as well as anybody else.

Colony Collapse, loss of most bees.

It’s glyphosate now? Have neonics fallen out of fashion? Colony collapse doesn’t admit a single villain, last I looked.

@ Narad

Colony collapse doesn’t admit a single villain, last I looked.

Correct.

Re: glyphosate – there was a recent study about the change in microbiote in honeybees linked to exposure to glyphosate, with a subsequent higher sensitivity to pathogen bacteria infection.
(PNAS 2018, PMID 30249635)

I would put glyphosate on the ‘potential villain’ list but still go with the multi-villain idea, for the time being.

there was a recent study about the change in microbiote in honeybees linked to exposure to glyphosate, with a subsequent higher sensitivity to pathogen bacteria infection

Indeed, pathogens and parasites seem to be the major players. I’m not doing a deep dive into Pubmed on this one, as I couldn’t synthesize it. I am going to go hit my dad’s back (brick) porch with Roundup, though. The geckos, frogs, and snakes don’t seem to mind it.

C’mon guys this is absolutely ridiculous! I swear the best Hollywood producer wouldn’t be able to write something this hilarious. I knew I was sensing some tepidness in the way you were responding to my queries about the cohorts. Checking Figure 3 again, Denmark has to be the first country in the whole freaking world where autism cases are dropping and not just slightly; we’re talking earth shattering plummeting!

For the 1999-2001 cohort there were 2874 diagnosed cases; 2002-2004 were 2095; 2005-2007 were 1227; and 2008-2010 were just freaking 321 cases! From the oldest cohort to the youngest we’re talking a 900% drop! Joel, Orac, F68.10, what the hell is going on here?! I definitely have to share this whopper with the folks of AoA.

Indeed, this result of decreasing cases for the younger cohorts supports my claim of the quick cut-off date accounting for missing cases, but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic effect. Consider if the cases had just held from the 1999-2001 cohort we would’ve had a total of 11,496 cases, not 6500. That’s 45% missing cases, not 20% as I predicted. Also interesting, 11,496 relative to the 650,000 sample size would give us a prevalence rate of 1.74. This is over the 1.65 established rate that James pointed out but a lot closer to it than 0.9-1%. I shake my head that this crap isn’t real but it is.

“C’mon guys this is absolutely ridiculous!”

Here, you sound like a troubled person being escorted and locked into solitary confinement at a penitentiary psychiatric hospital.

“From the oldest cohort to the youngest we’re talking a 900% drop”

People get time to get diagnosed as far as I can see.

“Indeed, this result of decreasing cases for the younger cohorts supports my claim of the quick cut-off date accounting for missing cases”

No, not really. Your claim is largely irrelevant by the way. Already explained.

“but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic effect.”

Then you’re onto something! Dig! Dig! Dig!

For the 1999-2001 cohort there were 2874 diagnosed cases; 2002-2004 were 2095; 2005-2007 were 1227; and 2008-2010 were just freaking 321 cases! From the oldest cohort to the youngest we’re talking a 900% drop! Joel, Orac, F68.10, what the hell is going on here?!

Here we go again, blaming the Danes for their birthrate. Hey Greg, think you might have forgotten a denominator or several there? The last birth cohort is due to the cut-off but you still have yet to explain how or why this is a problem save for co-opting JLW’s ignorant whingeing.

I definitely have to share this whopper with the folks of AoA.

Please do. It will be vastly entertaining to see what a froth you can all get whipped into based upon your “observation”.

The AoA scene is mildly amusing. Gus the Fuss even complains

how about instead,we look, at a simple study of children- MMR vaccine-one with aluminium and Mercury and one MMR vaccine without Mercury and Aluminium – oh silly me, Merck wont even send the current MMR vaccine for independent analyses

Gerg’s just repeating himself from scratch and being ignored by everyone except Eindecker.

Gerg’s just repeating himself from scratch and being ignored by everyone except Eindecker.

I guess that’s why Greg comes here; he actually receives more attention. Was Angus serious about that “study design”? A couple other fun facts I dredged from that cesspit:

I don’t believe ANY study which shows “lack of association” between MMR vac and autism, even if the author of such paper was God himself. I have personally seen many children who became autistic after this vaccination and know that millions of world parents report the same. The fact that the authors of the recent danish paper have big pharma connections and have been involved in the fraud completely disqualifies this paper. It clearly looks as another CDC-pharma attempt to cover up their fraud related to CDC-Thompson’s study, which documented autism rate in children who received MMR vaccines about 7 times greater than in children who did not get this vaccine.

Posted by: no-vac | March 07, 2019 at 12:30 PM

This is why anti-vaxxers will never be convinced. Also, Vinu and Exley have weighed in on the comments section of the MMR study, each of course, with their own completely disparate pet theory of how MMR causes autism.

Autism rate depends of the size of the cohort. Divide number of autism cases by size of the cohort. You ARE stupid, aren’t you ?
Orac has a plot of cumulative autism rates by age, for vaccinated and unvaccinated. Check that.

It wouldn’t be worth my while to take the time to go through number by number; but I find it both fascinating and frightening how people like Gregg believe that, for instance, the Danish researchers were just too stupid or dishonest to notice what Gregg believes he found, that the peer reviewers and editors at journal also missed it and that all of them were so stupid that they didn’t think by publishing the article and putting data supplements online that no one among thousands of viewers would catch this. Oops, they didn’t know that rabidly antivaccinationist James Lyon-Weiler and Gregg would. Golly gee Gregg, if you are not already a member of Mensa, organization for geniuses, I suggest you approach them for an application. LOL Or, maybe you should seek professional help due to your suffering from delusions of grandeur. Oops! Relishing in your delusions of grandeur.

This is what is so frightening about antivaccinationists, most who have no background in microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, or biostatistics, and have not read about the history of various infectious diseases and current status, just a plane flight away from US. They find some writings that they choose to believe and then believe that they are absolutely right.

John Stone, the UK editor of Age of Autism, when I submitted a comment asking his background, answered he didn’t need any of the aforementioned because he conducted “careful” readings. Well, I can do a careful reading of an article in a Spanish newspaper, reread it half a dozen times, and, though I probably know a hundred words in Spanish, no matter how many times I read it, any translation I made would be delusional. And when I’ve pointed out clear mistakes to Stone, he ignores them, including his citing a magazine article where I took direct quotes from the actual journal article showing the magazine article misinterpreted them, he ignored this, just as Gregg keeps ignoring what everyone on this blog have written.

Gregg keeps questioning why the difference in incidence, Denmark lower than US. I explained several reasons, including in Denmark only assessed at psychiatric centers; but if one looks at the Hviid article the exclude: “From the Danish National Patient Register comprising diagnoses from all somatic departments, we obtained information on several syndromes and conditions with an inherent increased risk for autism (fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Angelman syndrome, own syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Prader–Willi syndrome, and congenital rubella syndrome) (11). Children with any of these conditions were excluded from the study if the condition was diagnosed before their first birthday or censored at date of the diagnosis if it was made when the child was older than 1 year.”

In the US, the above have been included. While these are relatively rare, just one more reason the numbers would be lower in Denmark and I repeat, in US federal funding to schools is higher for ASD than some other disorders, so “borderline” cases, between two diagnoses, and which does anyone believe school psychologist and others would choose?

Gregg, just to repeat myself, a prerogative of old age, enjoy your delusions of grandeur. So impressive that you are so much smarter than the rest of us.😀 And do share your “discovery” with Age of Autism. They’ll love it.

Gregg, just to repeat myself, a prerogative of old age, enjoy your delusions of grandeur. So impressive that you are so much smarter than the rest of us.😀 And do share your “discovery” with Age of Autism. They’ll love it.

Delusions of grandeur, Joel? Excuse this puerile retort: Whatever! My point still stands Dr Harrison, Joel, Dr Harrison. Why design a study that will effectively rubbish half the sample? If we have 2874 autistic cases for the oldest cohort, then based on autism trends we should have at least that much for the other four cohorts — and certainly not a 900% drop for the last cohort. The fact that the gun is too smoky here does not make it not so. And Joel, all your ‘creds’ still can’t turn shit to goal.

“Delusions of grandeur, Joel? Excuse this puerile retort: Whatever!”

Again, you do sound like a troubled person being escorted and locked into solitary confinement in a penitentiary psychiatric hospital.

“If we have 2874 autistic cases for the oldest cohort, then based on autism trends we should have at least that much for the other four cohorts”

Completely fallacious reasoning. We have explained multiple times. Now do me a favor Greg: do not agree with us, but at least just try to restate what we have claimed about this fallacy. This way, we may at least assess if you understand, not agree with, what we already have explained.

“Why design a study that will effectively rubbish half the sample?”

Well do one “better”. Not holding my breath.

It wouldn’t be worth my while to take the time to go through number by number; but I find it both fascinating and frightening how people like Gregg believe that, for instance, the Danish researchers were just too stupid or dishonest to notice what Gregg believes he found, that the peer reviewers and editors at journal also missed it and that all of them were so stupid that they didn’t think by publishing the article and putting data supplements online that no one among thousands of viewers would catch this. Oops, they didn’t know that rabidly antivaccinationist James Lyon-Weiler and Gregg would.

Indeed, so what was so compelling anyway that led Hibiid et al to so blatantly cutoff cases? I believe Hibiid et al wanted to followup from Madsen et al cohorts (1990 to 1998), saying, here is a decade of cohorts later (2000-2010) still showing no MMR link. This, however, was complicated by problem of the Danish 2008 recommendation of MMR2 for four-year old. This meant that kids born after 2003 would have had two series of MMR, and comprising a substantial portion of Hibiid et al cases. If MMR had an effect, certainly two rounds of it would amplify it. Hibiid et al essentially then had no choice but to opt for a quick endpoint to conceal the later incidences coming from the later MMR2

Interestingly, Hibiid et al gives a mean diagnosed age for autism as over 7, whereas it was over 4 in Madsen et al. Initially, I was perplexed by this, wondering why the regression in diagnostic time and especially in a medically advanced country such as Denmark. This increased diagnostic time is perfectly explained by the later cases of autism that would be coming after MMR2.

Also interesting, Madsen et al was quite upfront about the possibility that a second round of MMR could affect the results. Still, they explained they only consider the first dose, since at that time the second dose was given at 12 and outside the window for their cohorts. This definitely wasn’t the case with Hibiid et al and they provided no rationale for not considering MMR2.

Again, you do sound like a troubled person being escorted and locked into solitary confinement in a penitentiary psychiatric hospital.

I’m really starting to take offense at this, having seen it (minus the “penitentiary”) up close and personal over a long period of time with people that I care about. Maybe I’m having a bad day, but still.

Gerg is just an attention-whoring moron.

“having seen it (minus the “penitentiary”) up close and personal over a long period of time with people that I care about.”

Me too.

“I’m really starting to take offense at this”

I apologize. I do not have the same sense of humor as most people I guess.

Gregg. As I wrote, I don’t have the time nor interest to go through the stats; but the fact that you don’t even admit in the least that you could possibly be wrong, just possibly, says all that needs to be said. You still believe you are ABSOLUTELY right, that you and only perhaps JLW see the truth. And once again you failed to address my explanations of the difference in incidence of ASD between Denmark and US in a previous comment and my most recent one.

So, it isn’t my credentials; but simple common sense that tells me the likelihood that such a blatant error would escape so many except you. Yep, history has shown that there have been times when one or a couple individuals were right; but as Michael Shermer discusses in his book “Why People Believe Weird Things,” for every one such event in history there have been thousands upon thousands of people like you who have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Read Shermer’s book. A fun, fascinating read.

And you should read some of the books I listed in a previous comment. Take time off from your delusions of grandeur and devote it to some reading.

And please do share your “insights” with Age of Autism. Join the Gish Gallup.

Joel, you continue to argue red-herrings than discuss the pressing issue. Where is the merit in a study that is designed to rubbish half the sample?

“But the fact that you don’t even admit in the least that you could possibly be wrong, just possibly, says all that needs to be said.”

That’s absolutely not a red herring, Greg. It’s a fact, and it stops you from understanding what science is.

I’m really worried about you.

That’s absolutely not a red herring, Greg. It’s a fact, and it stops you from understanding what science is.

The klaxons of hypocrisy may be affecting his concentration skills.

Humans are not mice. It is interesting that the authors of the “VaccineSafetyCommision” only list who they claim they are not associated with, but do not list any actual author. It just has advertisements of some brain dead books. It looks like a group that can be safely ignored. Especially with their math illiterate page on the NVICP.

Now what do you think about this: https://www.oregonlive.com/health/2019/03/unvaccinated-oregon-boy-6-nearly-dies-of-tetanus-racks-up-1-million-in-bills.html

It always makes me wonder when anti-vaxxers discuss studies in which mice became “autistic” because of vaccine ingredients:
how can you tell if a mouse is autistic?

— do its early language skills not develop according to schedule?
— does it have increased focus on parts of objects rather than wholes?
— does it have trouble reading other mousey facial expressions and non-verbal communication?
— are its range of interests very constrained?

These “autistic” mice sound rather like .. mice.

Orac,

What are your thoughts on this

Oh, G-d, now it’s the Gerg routine. Orac is not your Stepin Fetchit. Larry Palevsky positively luurves it, though. I’m not bothering until you say something intelligent about the paper rather than just taking a dump by the side of the road.

We can start with noticing that they used products of Chinese vaccine company. You have heard about them lately. Secondly, they used a massive overdose. (First thing to check when you read an antivaxxer study.)

@ Gregg

You write: “Joel, you continue to argue red-herrings than discuss the pressing issue. Where is the merit in a study that is designed to rubbish half the sample?”

You are absolutely certain that the study was designed to rubbish half the sample? I repeat, you are absolutely certain. Once again, you, in your self-believing genius, have seen something missed by numerous others. Delusions of Grandeur. I imagine you NEVER question yourself. It is only a red-herring if you are right, which, of course, you know you are.

And once again, you fail to address what I’ve wrote as explanation for discrepancy in ASD stats between Denmark and US.

So, share your divine insights with Age of Autism, a website composed of the few who know better than everyone else. They’ll love you.

I am retired and have lots of time on my hands; but wonder what you do to be able to devote so much time sharing your “genius” with the world?????

Everyone. If you didn’t watch the Senate hearing on vaccine safety, do so. I am just watching Del Bigtree interview Ethan Lindenberger’s mother and brother. Ethan testified at the hearing. Bigtree’s critic begins with having an 18 year old testify. First, there were four experts as well; but the hypocrisy when Bigtree and other antivaccinationists often parade non-professional individuals giving testimony. Ethan’s mother talks about how thoroughly she studied the issue. First, I would love to know what books she read and how she decided which to believe. But both she and Bigtree claim they did not find a single study of vaccine safety. Besides the fact that the regulations and oversight just to get a vaccine approved and the post-marketing studies conducted by CDC are far more demanding than any other product on the market, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nor, I found by simply typing “vaccine safety” on PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s online database, mainly of peer-reviewed published articles, 18,771 articles listed. Of course, some are just editorials; but just scanning a few pages and many were direct safety studies of one or more vaccines and one or more possible adverse events. Then on the CDC website at:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/research/publications/index.html

Scroll down and one finds “CDC Vaccine Safety Publications by Year”, type in 2018 and they list 20 studies conducted by CDC researchers, e.g. Naleway, A. L., Mittendorf, K. F., Irving, S. A., Henninger, M. L., Crane, B., Smith, N., Daley, M. F., and Gee, J. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency and Adolescent VaccinationExternal. Pediatrics 2018 Sept.

So, I really get tired of antivaccinationists claiming NO vaccine safety studies. I remember Age of Autism posting there has not been a single double blind randomized clinical trial of vaccines, so I submitted a description of several such studies, which, of course, they didn’t post. Oh well.

One last hypocrisy by Del Bigtree is his telling the viewer that he is not giving them advice, that they should check it out for themselves; but, of course, he already tells them there hasn’t been a single study of vaccine safety. Golly gee, certainly wouldn’t influence anyone, would it???

Is it just me or does it seem well beyond pathetic that one of the greatest invention of humanity must be defended by exploiting a family squabble. What’s next — getting the Lindenbergers on an episode of Jerry Springer?

Brother: Ethan you’re a lying piece of..if you say mom told you not to vaccinate.

Bell rings, fists fly, tussling, shouting, swearing; audience cheers, jeers; bodyguards intervene and Jerry calls for calm…

“Is it just me or does it seem well beyond pathetic that one of the greatest invention of humanity must be defended by exploiting a family squabble.”

Medicine is exactly that kind of deal: exploiting people’s death and misfortunes to gather lessons to be learned.

Family squabbles are an integral part of medicine, and it’s not going to change any time soon. At least not before mothers start stopping worrying about their kid’s health. Which is to say: never.

Welcome to reality.

Is it just me or does it seem well beyond pathetic that one of the greatest invention of humanity must be defended by exploiting a family squabble. What’s next — getting the Lindenbergers on an episode of Jerry Springer?

You really are dumb as a stump and no self-awareness to boot. Del Bigtree is the one exploiting that family and using a younger brother and dumbass mother.

A couple more points from the Del Bigtree interview. That Ethan got his info from Reddit. He testified that he got it from CDC and numerous sources.

And just for amusement, his brother quotes Thomas Jefferson: “He who would sacrifice freedom for liberty, deserves neither. First, as someone who loves history, the quote is from Ben Franklin; but more importantly, Jefferson got vaccinated and made sure others did as well! ! !

You really are tiresome. I simply pointed out that the quote was from Franklin and even more importantly that Jefferson supported vaccinations. That the quote was taken out of context is irrelevant. It was from Franklin. I bet you are really good at playing board game Trivial Pursuits. Once more, the quote is from Franklin, whatever the contextual meaning was, the quote is accurate! ! !

Despite this, I download, read and saved the article under my Ben Franklin folder. Franklin, who at first was against variolation, an early form of vaccination, became a strong advocate.

You really are tiresome.

(Former) editors can be.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Hi:

Just bookmarked The Science Post. Thanks. Wasn’t aware of it. In future will ignore CDC and rely on them. LOL

FYI – it might be clear to you, but there are always some readers who miss it – the Science Post is a satire site (and generally, very good, pointed satire).

@ Sadmar & Athaic So let’s go into details. Glyphosate is a herbicide. Insecticides kill insects, amongst them bees, though their use is controlled to limit damage to pollinators. A relevant insect there is Varroa destructor, a mite and a parasite of bees. Insecticides against it will definitely cause problems.

@ Aarno

Glyphosate is a herbicide. Insecticides kill insects,

That was my position before. But see my citation of an article upthread (search ‘Glyphosate’). It made me suddenly open to listen to others possibilities.
In the article, it is implied that plants and bacteria share similar pathways, including precisely the one targeted by glyphosate, so a bit of cross-reaction may happen.
If I try to be a good scientist, I’ll be waiting for more studies confirming this. But I’m starting to worry I may be wrong in thinking of glyphosate only as an herbicide.

though their use is controlled to limit damage to pollinators

Yes, by limiting use during the flowering period and by spraying pesticides during the night (when bees sleep) rather than during the day.
In my part of the world, beekeepers and farmers are bickering a lot about it. On one hand, beekeepers are quick to throw accusations of cheating controls at farmers whenever their bees have some issue. OTOH, It’s argued, with some evidence, that bees may land on plants, which they do not pollinate, by example looking for water. So if insecticide control is mostly focused on plants that bees pollinate, we may be missing something.
Also, this control is already mostly focused on domesticated pollinators. Wild pollinators are also touched by a decline in observed populations.

A relevant insect there is Varroa destructor

Hey, careful, Varroa is an arachnide/acarien, not an insect.
Attempts at treating hives with Varroa infection are… complicated. In one protocol, beekeepers are hanging inside hives strips of fabric coated with insecticide and hope that the varroa mite will get more of it than the bees.

@Greg It seems that I must explain this VERY clearly to you.
All cohorts had same endpoint, 2013. Thus children of later cohorts were younger at the endpoint. This would mean that they had less autism cases diagnosed. See Orac’s plot of cumulative autism incidence by age.

All cohorts had same endpoint, 2013. Thus children of later cohorts were younger at the endpoint.

Therefore (quoth the critics) the researchers should have focused on a single cohort and thereby weakened the power of the study immensely, making it easier to ignore.

According to the CDC, thus far in 2019 there are six outbreaks, three in New York (New York City, Rockland County, and Monroe County), as well as outbreaks in Washington, Texas, and Illinois, for a total of 206 cases thus far this year.

JAMA ran a “Viewpoint” on Thursday regarding the costs, both financial and immunological.

It wouldn’t be worth my while to take the time to go through number by number; but I find it both fascinating and frightening how people like Gregg believe that, for instance, the Danish researchers were just too stupid or dishonest to notice what Gregg believes he found, that the peer reviewers and editors at journal also missed it and that all of them were so stupid that they didn’t think by publishing the article and putting data supplements online that no one among thousands of viewers would catch this. Oops, they didn’t know that rabidly antivaccinationist James Lyon-Weiler and Gregg would.

Indeed, so what was so compelling anyway that led Hibiid et al to so blatantly cutoff cases? I believe Hibiid et al wanted to followup from Madsen et al cohorts (1990 to 1998), saying, here is a decade of cohorts later (2000-2010) still showing no MMR link. This, however, was complicated by problem of the Danish 2008 recommendation of MMR2 for four-year old. This meant that kids born after 2003 would have had two series of MMR, and comprising a substantial portion of Hibiid et al cases. If MMR had an effect, certainly two rounds of it would amplify it. Hibiid et al essentially then had no choice but to opt for a quick endpoint to conceal the later incidences coming from the later MMR2

Interestingly, Hibiid et al gives a mean diagnosed age for autism as over 7, whereas it was over 4 in Madsen et al. Initially, I was perplexed by this, wondering why the regression in diagnostic time and especially in a medically advanced country such as Denmark. This increased diagnostic time is perfectly explained by the later cases of autism that would be coming after MMR2.

Also interesting, Madsen et al was quite upfront about the possibility that a second round of MMR could affect the results. Still, they explained they only consider the first dose, since at that time the second dose was given at 12 and outside the window for their cohorts. This definitely wasn’t the case with Hibiid et al and they provided no rationale for not considering MMR2.

Also interesting, the 1999-2001 birth cohort had the weakest MMR/autism link, HR .84 (.73 – .96), but we must reflect that this cohort would’ve been the least MMR vaccinated group. In 2008 they would’ve been past the age of 4, the new recommended age for MMR2. Again one ponders why Hiviid et al made no provisions for MMR2 in their study.

Finally, supporting my contention that a more productive study would’ve involved reviewing the Madsen et al cohorts (1990 -1999) while keeping Hviid et al Aug 2013 cutoff, we see evidence of missing cases in Madsen while reflecting on Hviid’s figures. For Madsen et al, birth cohort for 1997 -1999 yielded 77 cases. Compare this to Hviid et al’s whopping 2784 figure for the 1999-2001 birth cohort. In fact, for the entire Madsen et al study there were just 738 cases for the over 537,000 sample size. That’s a beyond ridiculous autism prevalence rate of .13%for a mere decade earlier!! Indeed the Madsen et al cut-off issue was resulting in vastly under-reported cases.

For Madsen et al, birth cohort for 1997 -1999 yielded 77 cases.

Why, pray tell, are you picking the number from the not-vaccinated “Other Austistic-Spectrum Disorders” column of Table 2? Please also explain why the aRR is 1.00.

For Madsen et al, birth cohort for 1997 -1999 yielded 77 cases.

Why, pray tell, are you picking the number from the not-vaccinated “Other Austistic-Spectrum Disorders” column of Table 2? Please also explain why the aRR is 1.00.

No, Table 2 gives the total cases for the 1997-1999 birth cohort. They include 55 cases for ‘Austic Disorder’ and 22 for ‘Other Autistic-Spectrum Disorders’ and bringing the total to 77. Again, a mere few years later and for Hviid et al 1999-2001 cohort we have 2784 cases!

I hope Greg shares this “observation” too with his AoA comrades. I’m sure they were beside themselves with Greg’s other “observations” if he bothered to share them. Did you Greg?

I hope Greg shares this “observation” too with his AoA comrades. I’m sure they were beside themselves with Greg’s other “observations” if he bothered to share them. Did you Greg?

Yes, I did share it with them, but it was vastly more gratifying sharing it with you. I imagined your secret huddles as you murmured, how stupid can they be with it right in front of their face and no one notices it?!

Yes, I did share it with them, but it was vastly more gratifying sharing it with you. I imagined your secret huddles as you murmured, how stupid can they be with it right in front of their face and no one notices it?!

I have no doubt it was more gratifying, why wouldn’t it be sharing such an incompetent “observation” with other ignoramuses?

Have it occurred to you that Danmark have only few totally unvaccinated children ? Even with higher autism rate, number of children would be low.

“supporting my contention that a more productive study”

…”productive” meaning that it would produce results supporting your prejudices?

I’m sorry that good science is so mean to antivaxers. 🙁

…”productive” meaning that it would produce results supporting your prejudices?

No, ‘productive’ meaning not designed to miss cases, and mask an effect if there is any. Despite your assertion, Hviid et al is simply not a good study. I would say any study that is counter to reality and is reporting plummeting cases of autism is not a good study, and examing it further may not be necessary.

“I would say any study that is counter to reality and is reporting plummeting cases of autism is not a good study”

Bwahahahaha!!!!

DB, whenever I hear the words ‘Danish’ and ‘autism study’, I am almost starting to imagine a cartoon of two middle-aged professor types sitting in an academic office and staring fastidiously at a computer screen. On the screen it shows the cursor on ‘print’ and with one of the professors having his finger on the mouse. In the background of the office the media is depicted (man holding a microphone,interviewer, camera, etc), and there is also a brass band and above them is a banner on the wall that reads, ‘Vaccines Not Linked To Autism’.

So I must repeat: Children of later cohorts were younger at the endpoint. They had less time to diagnosed with autism, so less autism cases were found. This is not “plummeting”. Note from Orac’s plot that the cumulative autism rates rise with age. If you want to show plummeting, you must do proper statistical analysis.

“They had less time to diagnosed with autism, so less autism cases were found.”

There you go, Greg. It’s already been explained to you multiple times.

What do you not understand?

<

blockquote>
So I must repeat: Children of later cohorts were younger at the endpoint. They had less time to diagnosed with autism, so less autism cases were found.

And as I have explained this is a very serious problem in two main ways.
First, and the more serious, it counts non-autistic kids as vaxxed, and when in truth they just haven’t had time to mature to a diagnosis. Second, less cases result in reduce statistical power of the study. Aarno, again consider that a quick cutoff was a serious beef that Cochrane had with Madsen et al

And yes Aarno, ever study has to have an endpoint where invariable the older cohorts will have a greater length of time to mature to a diagnosis. This is not a problem in itself. The problem or solution is a matter of ensuring that even if your endpoint is shorter for the younger cohorts it is not too short for them to mature to a diagnosis, This is an easy fix, Aarno!

“First, and the more serious, it counts non-autistic kids as vaxxed, and when in truth they just haven’t had time to mature to a diagnosis.”

If your theory were true, we should still have seen an effect.

We didn’t see an effect.

What do you not get?

First, and the more serious, it counts non-autistic kids as vaxxed, and when in truth they just haven’t had time to mature to a diagnosis.”

If your theory were true, we should still have seen an effect.

We didn’t see an effect.

What do you not get?

Yes, we didn’t see an effect because there were too many non-autistic vaxxed cases that hadn’t matured to a diagnosis. Extending the cutoff would’ve likely produce more vaxxed autistic cases and also an effect.

“Yes, we didn’t see an effect because there were too many non-autistic vaxxed cases that hadn’t matured to a diagnosis. Extending the cutoff would’ve likely produce more vaxxed autistic cases and also an effect.”

Pure. Wishful. Thinking.

The problem or solution is a matter of ensuring that even if your endpoint is shorter for the younger cohorts it is not too short for them to mature to a diagnosis, This is an easy fix, Aarno!

So, you want to extend every study by eight years and throw away the trailing data? Sharp thinking, Gerg. I can see why you’re a well-respected figure in the field.

Oldest cohort was 14 years old. In this cohort, there were more autism cases amongst unvaccinated, though this is not significant.

@ Greg

Gregg, I asked you a simple question: Have you ever considered, even if 1 chance in 1,000, that you could be wrong?

Your critique of the Hviid study just displays your lack of understanding of epidemiology and biostatistics. First, the probabilities use as a denominator person-years. So, the latter cohorts contribute fewer person-years, giving greater emphasis to the kids with the most person-years and the shorter follow-up time is for both unvaccinated and vaccinated. Second, in the Supplement available online:

TABLE 3. Crude autism hazard ratios for selected variables among 657461 children born in Denmark January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2010

Birth cohort

1999 – 2001 Reference

1999 – 2001 1.18 (1.11-1.25)

1999 – 2001 1.31 (1.22-1.42)

2008 – 2010 1.34 (1.18-1.52)

As you can see, actually, the crude autism hazard ratios show an increase in the cohorts over time (but the confidence intervals are close). Feel free to jump on this, further displaying your absolute ignorance. Crude means not adjusted for other variables that could have influenced the results. A classic example was the correlation found between number of storks and number of kids found in France eons ago. Of course, the confounding variable was that rural families/farm families had more children and rural areas had more storks; but, of course, if someone like you believed babies brought by storks, you would reject the confounding variable.

I guess they could have carried out separate analyses for each of the cohorts or combined the first two; and they probably, given the crude rates, would have gotten the same results, albeit without statistical significance because the number of variables used to adjust for would have made the individual cells to small. However, as discussed above, by “weighting” the analysis by person-years, this increased the size and since the cases of non-vaccinated and vaccinated had the same follow-up time, despite what you choose to believe, didn’t bias the outcome!

And, relying on one Cochrane Center is like relying on one medical journal. Even the best journals have published rubbish. The New England Journal of Medicine published over three decades ago a study that linked coffee with pancreatic cancer. Newspapers, as usual, headlined this, unfortunately the methodology was torn to shreds. I, for one, continued drinking coffee. But some journals on the whole are more reliable than others. The one Cochrane Center’s papers on vaccines have been criticized by a number of experts, critiques that focused on their methodology. As for James Lyons-Wyler, he was once a published researcher in genetics, not epidemiology, not infectious diseases. I could, and probably will eventually, write a paper refuting one of his papers or books; but I’m currently working on a 4-part series on polio. I’ve well over 1,000 documents/papers/books and am awaiting half dozen more. You can read the first part, posted on Science-Based Medicine: “Wrong About Polio: A Review of Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk’s “Dissolving Illusions” Part 1”. (note that the reference list can be found with the pdf which the article links to). If you read it you will see that I do not rely on one or two sources; but often several references. Someone like you would probably read Suzanne Humphries book and since you choose to believe antivaccinationists would defend the indefensible.

I repeat a question I asked before: Given that not only Hviid and his co-authors; but other members of his department, the editors at the journal, independent peer-reviewers, did not find what you found or didn’t care and published it, allowing thousands of people to see what you saw, what was their motivation? Why would so many people leave themselves open to a finding that they didn’t know what they were doing? And what training do you have to judge such research? Do you even understand any epidemiology methodology/biostatistics? Do you actually understand how vaccines work?

In several comments, I and others have clearly refuted some of your claims; but you don’t address these comments, you just keep basically repeating variations on the same theme. Obviously, you neither understand the science or even display an openness to a real dialogue.

By the way, I check out Age of Autism daily. Haven’t seen anything about your “Brilliant Insights” yet? I thought for sure you would want to share them on a platform, an echo chamber, where you would be uncritically praised by equally lacking in science ideologues.

First, the probabilities use as a denominator person-years.

He doesn’t understand the concept. If you have a few hours and a masochistic streak, search the comments under this post for the term.

As you can see, actually, the crude autism hazard ratios show an increase in the cohorts over time (but the confidence intervals are close).

I already addressed this. In 1998 MMR2 was introduced for 4 year old. It would affect the cohorts from 2003 onwards, with more cases in subsequent years if there were a MMR effect. I honestly believe if the cutoff was extended we would’ve seen cases – a link — through the roof!

In 1998 MMR2 was introduced for 4 year old. It would affect the cohorts from 2003 onwards, with more cases in subsequent years if there were a MMR effect. I honestly believe if the cutoff was extended we would’ve seen cases…

If the first MMR didn’t induce autism, how would the second one?

There is no 1998 MMR2… and your correction is thirty years out of date. The MMR2 was introduced in 1979. The only change was to the rubella bit.

By the way, the switch between 12 year olds to 4 years olds getting their second MMR did not mean every four year old got it. The change came when my youngest was six years old, and one older brother was eight years old. The oldest had his booster due to his age. The rules stated that they could wait until they had to enter middle school.

But then there was an outbreak of measles in a private school that was too close for comfort. Our family doctor was happy to protect the two younger kids with MMR vaccines before it was legally required.

Because, like me, he is not a lying sadistic child hater who wants to see kids suffer from nasty painful diseases. Greg, you really need to check your priorities. Do we need to send Child Protective Services to your home to see how you treat your kids?

Yes, I did share it with them

Link? Also, are you going to answer my question?

I shared my initially observation about missing cases with the folks at AoA a few days ago. My subsequent follow-ups on Hviid et al was shared this morning

And as I pointed out, you did NOT address my explanation of “weighted” data, etc. You are an unrepentant dishonest deluded person who should be banned from this site. Age of Autism, most of the time, does not post pro vaccine comments, so, given your refusal to even address anything that goes against your rigid ideology, in other words, you come off as a broken record, you shouldn’t be allowed to waste people’s time. On the other hand, thanks to your stupidity, I looked more closely at the Hviid study; but found it well-done. There is NO perfect study; but theirs is quite good. And your comments help reinforce for open-minded reasonable people just how wrong antivaccinationists are. I used to have a poster of a man in criminal garb with caption: “Cheer Up. You Can Always Serve As A Bad Example.”

As I’ve written before, must be nice to believe you have g-d-like certainty. Such delusions may be necessary for people like you. I look forward to seeing your comments on Age of Autism and the praise you receive from the echo chamber of close-minded “geniuses.”

I suggest you read a book from long ago entitled “When Prophesy Fails” about a group of like-minded people who believed they saved the world.

Part of the reason that Greg aren’t banned is to prove that this blog is more honest than AoA because dissenting viewpoints are allowed.

Mostly it’s so the rest of us have a chew toy, and at least Greg can spell and doesn’t seem stoned out of his brain and isn’t a semantics monster (that guy was the worst, like trying to nail jelly to the wall). And while Greg is clearly an odious person he has managed to not threaten violence or use language that’s beyond the pale. I’ve been reading here gad, 11 years and to my memory probably less than 10 people have been banned. And they were all much, much worse than Greg (not a suggestion, Greg!). And stupider.

So while I don’t think you’re going to change Greg’s mind, I for one appreciate your deep knowledge and willingness to share it.

Narad, I’m not great at picking up on other people’s spelling errors (the name of the study thing is plain rudeness) but I meant it more as “he writes in something close enough to English in spelling and punctuation that I don’t want to stab my computer”.

Unlike, say, Bob.

According to the CDC, thus far in 2019 there are six outbreaks, three in New York (New York City, Rockland County, and Monroe County), as well as outbreaks in Washington, Texas, and Illinois, for a total of 206 cases thus far this year.

That was up to 228 as of March 7, and Precision Vaccines recently reported 358.

Thanks! I just downloaded the book to add to my library and, of course, will read it. Most of the time your comments contribute more than examples of trivial pursuits.😀

@Greg Again, check Orac’s plot of cumulative autism incidence. You will notice a trend: amongst older children, number of autism cases amongst unvaccinated starts to raise faster than amongst vaccinated. If cut off has been postponed, data would have shown, with statistical significance, that vaccination reduces autism rates.

I repeat a question I asked before: Given that not only Hviid and his co-authors; but other members of his department, the editors at the journal, independent peer-reviewers, did not find what you found or didn’t care and published it, allowing thousands of people to see what you saw, what was their motivation? Why would so many people leave themselves open to a finding that they didn’t know what they were doing?

Joel, I already addressed this. Hviid et al didn’t miss anything. They knew what they were doing. They had no choice but to cut-off cases due to the effect that MMR2 would’ve ‘likely’ had on the 2003 cohorts onwards. As I stated, your point is a red-herring. The fact that it’s so blatant doesn’t make it kosher. BTW — is it the job of peer-review to catch quick endpoint?

Greg:

You continue to display your absolute ignorance. As I mentioned in a previous comment, they could have used only the first two or three cohorts. I also included in one of my comments the crude ratios for each cohort which didn’t differ all that much. Obviously you are too stupid to understanding how “weighting” by life-years works.. I suggest you learn how Cox Proportional Hazards Model works and stop making a fool of your self. Oops, I forgot you and your buddies on Mount Olympus don’t have a library, not needed when one has g-d-like absolute knowledge.

And as for MMR2, so does that mean MMR! isn’t a problem? Yep, how stupid of them to not just use groups who received MMR1. Then the result would have been even better???

Also, I asked if they knew what they were doing, are you basically suggesting they hoped nobody with your level of “genius” would catch it. In other words, was Hviid, his co-authors, members of his department, editors of the journal, the peer-reviewers, all either stupid or just plain dishonest, hoping there weren’t “geniuses” like you around.

And I will ask you for the umpteenth time: “Have you ever considered you may be wrong? Even if only 1 chance in 1,000.

Apparently, you really are incredibly stupid as you seem to not understand what I write.

I repeat Greg: GOT TO HELL!

And as for MMR2, so does that mean MMR! isn’t a problem? Yep, how stupid of them to not just use groups who received MMR1. Then the result would have been even better???

Nope. Just means it’s signal is not large enough to rise above the interference of the other vaccines. MMR2 enhances it. All the more reasons to have large amount of cases so we can suss out the effect.

Just means it’s signal is not large enough to rise above the interference of the other vaccines. MMR2 enhances it. All the more reasons to have large amount of cases so we can suss out the effect.

This is utter gibberish. What “effect”? Do you still not understand what “begging the question” means?

@ Greg:

According to Hviid: “A first dose of MMR vaccine is offered at 15 months (MMR1), with a second dose (MMR2) at 12 years of age or, since 2008, at 4 years of age.” Since the four cohorts were: 1999 – 2001, 2002 – 2004, 2005 – 2007, 2008 – 2010, according to Hviid, all would have received the MMR1 as their first shot (though MMR2 had been approved by 2004). Numerous studies have shown that any adverse events tied to vaccines is much higher from the first shot than latter shots. So, even if they had decided to give ALL the cohorts the MMR2 at 4 years of age, the 1999 -2001 cohort would have been 7-8 years old in 2008, the 2002 – 2004 would have been 4 – 6. And as I wrote in a previous comment, using the mean for age of diagnosis could easily be influenced by a few extreme cases. Given Denmark’s highly developed universal health care system with expert psychiatric care, the probability is quite high that the majority of cases were diagnosed at an earlier age, just as in U.S.

Of course, you project your sick ideology into everything you read, automatically interpreting an average assuming it is based on a normal distribution with equal numbers, equal distances from the mean.

Again: Have you EVER considered you could be wrong????

Of course, you project your sick ideology into everything you read, automatically interpreting an average assuming it is based on a normal distribution with equal numbers, equal distances from the mean.

Again: Have you EVER considered you could be wrong????

For all your huffing and puffing like a senile old man — senile, retired old man that is! — in defense of the study, I haven’t read you conceding one important point. Do you not agree that it would’ve been better to extend the endpoint and cut-off less cases?

No. I don’t agree. Since, despite your total dismissal of any of my explanations, the crude ratios were similar for each cohort and by weighing them by the life-years, this was a total legitimate scientific study. In addition, though I’m not in Denmark, they probably began their analysis several years before and there is often a lag in data being available. So, they didn’t begin their study in 2019 or 2018, etc. And as I pointed out several times, they could have stuck with the first couple of cohorts, gotten the same result; but due to the smaller sample size, it might not have reached statistical signficance. For your totally ignorant mind, statistical significance is based on a combination of the actual effect measured AND SAMPLE SIZE.

Once more you fail to even admit the remote possibility that you could be wrong. This blog and its sister blog, Science-Based Medicine, are based on science, something you have not even remotely indicated you understand. Besides submitting your idiotic beliefs to Age of Autism, I suggest you check out some religious website, perhaps, Scientology?

As for my being senile. Again, I suggest you read my two articles posted on Science-Based Medicine. Both based on extensive references, direct quotes, science and logic. Oops! I forgot that living on Mount Olympus, you don’t need any of the aforementioned. I have obviously forgotten more in my life than you ever knew and still manage to retain a significant amount. I will admit that I probably could no longer, using Calculus and Linear Algebra, prove some of the more complicated statistical formulas. Oh well.

You really are an ignorant, dishonest, despicable excuse for a human being. Unfortunately, given your immunity to anything others say, you probably exalt in your delusions of grandeur.

Since, despite your total dismissal of any of my explanations, the crude ratios were similar for each cohort and by weighing them by the life-years, this was a total legitimate scientific study

Joel, I could see this point being legit if we were dealing with a thousand cohorts, but we’re only dealing with four. Also, I see less cohorts as lending itself to a situation where results can easily be manipulated to give consistent crude ratios. For instance, what if the study ended in Nov 2013 as opposed to Aug and we had an ‘unusual’ influx of cases during that period?

You really are a jerk: “I see less cohorts as lending itself to a situation where results can easily be manipulated to give consistent crude ratios.” So you are accusing them of dishonestly manipulating the data. And still don’t admit that you could be wrong, And you fail to understand what weighting by person-years means. Yep, any cut-off point could be chosen. What if they had used Nov 2013? Just as easily could have just continued with a similar risk ratio. Any choice of cut-off points could change things or NOT change things. At some point, researchers have to choose a cut-off points.

And “thousand cohorts”. Yikes! They obviously could not have chosen later cohorts and earlier cohorts were probably not chosen for a variety of reasons, e.g., criteria for determining ASD changed; records not computerized, etc. However, doesn’t matter except in your sick mind. Their study was well-done.

GO TO HELL!

Joel, he’s only in this for attention. (I left this comment and the link to his last attempt to play this game as proof.) If you really want to sock it to him, let him wither on the vine.

GO TO HELL!

Joel, I think you need to take a deep breath and calm down. Besides, you’re retired now and should spend your time relaxing. Think of happier times such as back in the day when you would woo the young ladies with your Linear Algebra and Calculus proficiency.

Excited Misses: Oh!! — Dr Harrison, I never seen someone make such brilliant calculations before! My thighs are absolutely tingling!
Suave Joel: Well young lady, I must admit that I’ve been told before that I make excellent use of my statistician tool.

But seriously Joel, you keep going on that I should admit that I could be wrong. Wrong about what, Joel? Wrong that it would’ve been better to have a study that did not trash half the cases. How many cases did Hviid need to rubbish for me to have a legitimate beef — 80, 90, 100%?! Do tell Joel.

“Wrong that it would’ve been better to have a study that did not trash half the cases.”

That study did not trash half the cases. It did survival analysis. As I told you before, google Kaplan Meier. That will put you onto the path of enlightenment.

Think of happier times such as back in the day when you would woo the young ladies with your Linear Algebra and Calculus proficiency.

What’s your highest educational attainment and in what field, Gerg? Do you even know what the words you have invoked mean?

Narad, is it time for stale donuts and cold coffee, like over at SBM?

Y’know, I just haven’t been doing SBM lately. It’s a bit garish, and I’ve pretty much given up on Disqustink.

Narad, the “cold coffee and stale donuts” are a signal from the moderator/senior commentors that we the commentariate have allowed a troll (and responses to said troll) to completely take over the comments on a post, and thus rather than feed the troll we are punished by feeding ourselves cold coffee and stale donuts.

A good example would be that one guy over on the undying thread, back on the previous platform. Nothing new was getting said by anyone, just going around and around, so we all just need to quit.

Different sites with different cultures, but it’s a thought.

@Greg Hviid et al did analyze autism cases amongst totally unvaccinated. Care to comment that ?
And you did not answer my comment. Oldest cohort was 14 year old at the endpoint. Amongst them, non vaccinated had more autism cases. Later cutoff would have proved that MMR vaccination REDUCES autism, which would be consistent with earlier studies.

@Greg Hviid et al did analyze autism cases amongst totally unvaccinated. Care to comment that ?
And you did not answer my comment. Oldest cohort was 14 year old at the endpoint. Amongst them, non vaccinated had more autism cases. Later cutoff would have proved that MMR vaccination REDUCES autism, which would be consistent with earlier studies.

Aaarno, I addressed this already. Oldest cohort would’ve been the least MMR vaccinated group. The 2008 recommendation for MMR2 for four years old wouldn’t have applied to them since they would’ve been older. As I explained to Joel, I do believe MMR1 does also have an effect but at times its signal is too weak to rise above the interference of other vaccines. MMR2 enhances the signal and I believe that was the prime reason that led Hviid et al to trash half their cases.

As I explained to Joel, I do believe MMR1 does also have an effect but at times its signal is too weak to rise above the interference of other vaccines. MMR2 enhances the signal and I believe that was the prime reason that led Hviid et al to trash half their cases.

There is no “signal,” nitwit. It’s cute that you’ve learned a new word to use inappropriately, though.

Isn’t it interesting how Greg has gone from claiming that 20% of cases were lost by the cut off to 50%? (20%, Greg’s first post way back on March 6th.)

Give it another day or two and it will be 100%!

I do believe MMR1 does also have an effect but at times its signal is too weak to rise above the interference of other vaccines. MMR2 enhances the signal…

Typical. When studies disproved that MMR caused autism, antivaxxers moved on to “too many too soon”. That was disproven. Now you’re arguing that the change to the schedule that moved the second MMR dose forward had an impact.
You’re arguing something a priori from an assumption that empirical evidence confirms is false. It’s like stating that it would be better to use Rumanian Horntails in steelmaking as opposed to Chinese Fireballs (Harry Potter reference).

Of course, it’s always the vaccines. The anti-vaxxers are so good at moving goalposts, they could easily win a championship in goalpost-moving.
If it is proven there is the same amount of autism in unvaccinated, it will be the vaccines of the mother, the father, or even the grand-parents.

Of course, it’s always the vaccines. The anti-vaxxers are so good at moving goalposts, they could easily win a championship in goalpost-moving.
If it is proven there is the same amount of autism in unvaccinated, it will be the vaccines of the mother, the father, or even the grand-parents.

Madsen was opened that MMR2 could affect things and they explained they did not study it because it was outside the window for their cohorts. Why did Hviid not take it into account then since it was definitely within their window. Is it moving the goalposts or asking that they meet regulation standards?

It’s not moving the goalposts. It’s setting up entirely new goal posts.

You’re impressively dense.

If it is proven there is the same amount of autism in unvaccinated, it will be the vaccines of the mother, the father, or even the grand-parents.

Cue the Larmarckian Kim Stagliano.

Yes, was opened to the possibility with ‘the possibility’ understood.

Still not English, Gerg. Seriously, back when I was really into shortwave, there were a lot of blind hobbyists. Their Usenet comments were uniformly better formed (modulo the occasional use of full caps among the low-sighted) than your sustained mangling of your mother tongue. Did you ever take the SAT?

Has your old neighborhood got you down? Are you having the same old circular arguments with your neighbors? It may be time to look for a new home. One where the houses are bigger and better, the neighbors more witty and friendly and where you can share a set of common beliefs. But moving is stressful. Not just the buying and selling, saying goodbye to old acquaintances and bonding with new ones, but the matter of moving your cherished possessions safely. Everybody has these, some old and some new, but all dear to the heart. You are anxious about seeing them damaged and rendered useless when clumsily moved from your old home to the new one.

Among those cherished possessions for many are goal posts. These goal posts may have long served you well in, say, your 9-11 troof neighborhood. All you had to do was move them a short distance, perhaps back and forth from your storage shed, occasionally having to brighten them up with a new coat of paint. Moving them across town or across the country is another matter altogether. Who can you trust with that important job?Trust us to move your prized goal posts from here to there and beyond. At Goal Post Movers LLC we make goal posts our business. We’ve been successfully moving goal posts for generations. Our experts know all the structural weak points in every conceivably goal post you might possess and will ensure they are moved safely using purpose-built containers. For your privacy we only use opaque containers so that curiosity seekers can’t pry while they’re being carried about.

But, “Wait!” you’re thinking. “Will my old goal posts fit well into my new home? Will the neighbors be scandalized by these unrecognized tropes?” Worry no more! Through our partnership with Alex Jones Inc we can make your old goal posts fit any home. No conspiracy is too big or too complex for our logistical technicians. We guarantee that your old and beloved goal posts can be lovingly adapted so well you’ll be amazed how well they blend into your new surroundings. You might think pendulums are unique to flat earth. But no! With some linguistic and logicistic adjustment pendulums can be made to fit any political issue. Think of it as chiropracty for your most precious beliefs.

So remember. When you need your goal posts moved rely on the professionals. Call Goal Post Movers today. Before you know it you’ll be settled in and enjoying stimulating conversation with your new neighbors at weekly wine and whine parties with your old undamaged goal posts at your side looking shiny and new.

Greg writes: “Madsen was opened that MMR2 could affect things and they explained they did not study it because it was outside the window for their cohorts. Why did Hviid not take it into account then since it was definitely within their window. Is it moving the goalposts or asking that they meet regulation standards?”

I have, based on PubMed search, ALL of Madsen’s articles, wasted my time by reading carefully through them, and found NO REFERENCE TO MMR2:

Madsen KR, Hviid A, Vestergaard M et al. (2002 Nov 7). A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism. The New England Journal of Medicine; 347(19): 1477-1482.

Madsen KR, Hviid A, Vestergaard M et al. (2002). MFR-vaccination og autisme- et populationsbaseret followup studie. Ugeskrift for Laeger; 164(49); 5741-5744.

Vestergaard M, Hviid A, Madsen KM et al. (2004 Jul 21). MMR Vaccination and Febrile Seizures Evaluation of Susceptible Subgroups and Long-term Prognoses. JAMA; 292(3): 351-357.

In case you’re wondering. Jag kan flyttande Svenska och kan läsa Danska med hjälp av en Dansk-Svensk ordbok som jag äger. I am fluent at Swedish and can read Danish with the help of a Danish-Swedish dictionary which I own.

So, Gregg, please give complete reference to article where Madsen discussed MMR2, including the page number. The least you could do???

Greg also wrote: “But seriously Joel, you keep going on that I should admit that I could be wrong. Wrong about what, Joel? Wrong that it would’ve been better to have a study that did not trash half the cases. How many cases did Hviid need to rubbish for me to have a legitimate beef — 80, 90, 100%?! Do tell Joel.”

So, how in hell could Hviid have “rubbished” 100% of cases or even 80-90% given that the study does report cases? Perhaps Greg doesn’t understand the simple arithmetic that 100% includes ALL cases and that, given the average age of ASD discussed in the article, even if one assumes a normal distribution, it would mean 50% of cases were below the mean or median and, thus, were included in the Hviid study.

Oh well, Greg also wrote: “Joel, I could see this point being legit if we were dealing with a thousand cohorts, but we’re only dealing with four.”

If each cohort just 1 year, would mean Hviid would have to search for data/reports on MMR, going back almost 1,000 years before the vaccine was even developed. Yikes!

And Greg writes: “Joel, I think you need to take a deep breath and calm down. Besides, you’re retired now and should spend your time relaxing. Think of happier times such as back in the day when you would woo the young ladies with your Linear Algebra and Calculus proficiency.”

Well, several reasons I continue:

I was raised to believe we leave this world a better place than when we came it, which includes contributing to the health and welfare of current and future generations.
I rely on science and, of course, data. As opposed to Greg’s just: “I believe. I understand that not one study is without some weakness; but when studies conducted by different researchers, on different populations, with different study designs, etc. all come to the same conclusion, the probability that the same “weakness”, that is, confounding variables would be present in each and every study is close to nil. At some point a decision has to be made and the decision to vaccinate is based on not just one study; but many, as well as knowledge of the history and current status of infectious diseases, including just how severe they can be. Out of sight, out of mind is just another example of stupidity.
My education, training, career, and reading of the history of infectious diseases makes it impossible for me to allow ignoramuses like Greg to undermine the achievements of generations of dedicated scientists.
As for Linear Algebra and Calculus, just examples of the education I went through in order to understand statistics, epidemiological research methods, etc. Greg hasn’t once stated which of the basics of vaccines he has studied or even read up on, e.g., microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, biostatistics, etc. So his making fun of me would be like making fun of a surgeon who explained having been required to not only go to lectures about Anatomy and Physiology; but hours of labs. Greg really is an IDIOT!

And finally Greg writes: “But seriously Joel, you keep going on that I should admit that I could be wrong.”

No, I didn’t ask him to admit he was wrong, just to accept that he could be wrong, even if only 1 chance in a 1,000. Obviously he is too stupid to know the difference. I simply wanted him to acknowledge that he doesn’t have g-d-like certainty that he is right, that he is a mere mortal. Not the same thing. I’ve admitted in several posted comments that, while I base my opinions on a life-time of education, peer-reviewed articles, etc. as a scientist, I deal with probability, not absolutes, so, in some cases as the cumulative research piles up, the probabilities become extremely high; but NEVER 100%.

So, once again Greg: GO TO HELL!

And as I’ve written before, I could care less what you think; but save my comments and yours for possible future articles.

And Narad, you are absolutely right that I should ignore him; but, as I wrote, though infuriating, gives me the opportunity to develop ideas that I could use in later articles.

IN addition:
RI regulars learn from Joel and lurkers ( those mysterious, ephemeral presences hovering just beyond our perception- of which I am the patron saint, despite being an atheist) will benefit.
Orac’s audience is wide and changeable so it is necessary to repeat common threads in our tapestries.

SB psychology teaches us that recall is affected by repetition, frequency and intensity ( there are other factors** as well) so we should keep this in mind and remember that woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers know this too ( at least they know something based on research, hard to believe as that is, although it helps to consolidate their teaching). Woo-lit is often packaged in reader friendly forms, small bites at a time, related to other pre-established woo and thus, the overall plan is actually programmed learning. Learning BS, that is. Notice how Greg repeats certain ( faux) facts: we can probably trace exactly where they originated.

** whether it is early or late in a presentation, if it’s related to old knowledge, how much it can be converted into an image, how emotional its content is etc

Greg writes: “Madsen was opened that MMR2 could affect things and they explained they did not study it because it was outside the window for their cohorts. Why did Hviid not take it into account then since it was definitely within their window. Is it moving the goalposts or asking that they meet regulation standards?”

I have, based on PubMed search, ALL of Madsen’s articles, wasted my time by reading carefully through them, and found NO REFERENCE TO MMR2:

Madsen et al 2002, Methodology……

The national vaccination program recommends that children be vaccinated at 15 months of age and again at 12 years. No change was made in the program during the study period. We obtained information on MMR vaccination at 15 months of age, since only this exposure is relevant to the end point under study

So by implication, if any of the kids in their cohorts were 12 years or older before the endpoint of their study they would’ve considered that they received their MMR2 and account for this. Again, kids in Hviid et al received their MMR2, so why no accounting for it and especially considering that Madsen was one of the co-researchers?

Gerg, are your children vaccinated? What is your educational background? I know that you’re going to weasel away, but I’d like to put it in start relief.

Greg:

According to the Hviid study: “A first dose of MMR vaccine is offered at 15 months (MMR1), with a second dose (MMR2) at 12 years of age or, since 2008, at 4 years of age.”

In another paper, by Sørup (2019). it states: “In Denmark, the live attenuated measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) was introduced in 1987; the first dose at age 15 months has been recommended ever since [6]. From 1 April 2008, a second dose of MMR (MMR-2) at age 4 years was recommended [7].”

Sørup S, Jensen AKG, Aaby P, Benn CS (2019 Jan 15). Revaccination With Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Infectious Disease Morbidity: A Danish Register-based .Cohort Study. Clinical Infectious Diseases; 68: 282-290.

Hviid Figure 3

Time since vaccination
First year 0.96 (0.77–1.18) kid 5
Second year 0.88 (0.74–1.04) kid 6
Third year 0.91 (0.78–1.07) kid 7
Fourth year 0.96 (0.83–1.11) kid 8
≥4 years 0.94 (0.84–1.04) kid 9 or older

First, you LIED when you claimed Madsen actually mentioned the MMR-2. Second, you wrote: “The mean age at first autism diagnosis was 7.22 years (SD, 2.86), and the mean age among autistic disorder cases was 6.17 years (SD, 2.65).”

So, given that the average age of diagnosis is between 6 and 7 years, and using the confidence intervals, at least 85% would be less than 10 years of age. I doubt even an idiot like Gregg would claim that kids only develop an ASD at 12 years of age. And if given the MMR-2 at 4 years of age, then, given the four cohorts were: 1999 – 2001; 2002 – 2004; 2005 – 2007; 2008 – 2010, then, if one assumes that ALL the kids were given the MMR-2 at 4 years of age, then the first two cohorts would certainly have had time to be diagnosed by 2013, and even many in the 3rd cohort. However, as I and others have pointed out, if Hviid had left out the last or even the last two cohorts, the data clearly show NO association with ASD, though, given, as I explained above, that significance is based on both effect size and sample size, may not have reached statistical significance. And Greg just doesn’t understand how one weights by person-years. I suggest, since he obviously won’t get a hold of a textbook, that the Wikipedia article on the Cox Proportional Hazards Model is a good starting place. Someone mentioned Kaplan-Meier which also used person-years; but the Cox model allow one to look at confounding variables, etc.

And the Madsen study looked at kids only receiving the first MMR since at that time, the MMR-2 was given at 12. Again, even an idiot like Greg can’t believe that kids develop ASD at 12 years of age, or maybe he can?

And Greg completely ignores that I discussed among other things that there is good research showing that kids with ASD have brain abnormalities from the first trimester and other studies where videos/films were available prior to a kid receiving the MMR, that independent observers could clearly see signs of ASD. Once more, prior to receiving the ASD and brain abnormalities from the 1st trimester.

And Greg continues to refuse to even consider the remote possibility he could be wrong, just doubles down.

I forget what they are called; but there are toys that look like a figure of a dumb person that kids can hit and they just right themselves back up. Sort of reminds me of Greg; but, the above will save me time in writing later papers.

In a way, this has become almost amusing as Greg, by doubling down, just keeps exhibiting his absolute stupidity. No understanding of the use of life-years, not even acknowledging what I wrote about brain abnormalities from 1st trimester nor video/films prior to receiving first MMR. No acknowledgement that I responded to his question where are all the adults with ASD. Nor that I early on explained the changing definition and conditions included under ASD, the changing availability of funds, the increased public awareness, the fact that in Denmark evaluation is conducted at psychiatric clinics; but in U.S. can be school psychologists or several other professions, etc.

He just ignores what others write and doubles down. Typical true believer. In musical comedy, Man of La Mancha, there is a scene where his niece and village priest catch up with him. The priest tells him he should face the facts. Don Quixote’s reply is: “Facts are the enemy of truth.” I love the play, have seen it several times on stage, movie not as good, and have LP of complete London cast; but currently nothing to play it on. Someday will probably take two records to one of these places that charge to transfer to DVD.

“Someone mentioned Kaplan-Meier which also used person-years; but the Cox model allow one to look at confounding variables, etc.”

Yes. I told him to start with Kaplan Meier because it’s more straightfoward and it serves as an introduction to Cox. Can’t understand Cox if you do not understand Kaplan Meier. That’s why I pinpointed it to Greg.

Absolutely nothing in the preceding rant has addressed the glaring inconsistency of Madsen et al mentioning MMR2 as an influential factor and it being completely ignored by Hviid et al.

Absolutely nothing in the preceding rant has addressed the glaring inconsistency of Madsen et al mentioning MMR2 as an influential factor and it being completely ignored by Hviid et al.

At least it addressed your being a weaselly moron.

Are you totally mentally retarded. Madsen NEVER MENTIONED MMR2. I asked you to find the quote, give the page number and article. So how in hell could Hviid ignore something NEVER said?

You are one really sick SOB.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in another comment, I used to have a poster with a photo of a man in old-fashioned prison garb with the caption: “Cheer Up. You can always serve as a bad example.”

Well, Greg, your absolute stupidity can always serve as an example of the utter moronic mentality of an antivaxxer. So, please keep it up.

I just discovered this:
A Scientist’s Rebuttal to the Danish Cohort Study: BS Hooker, 3-13-19 on Focus for Health.org**
It was read aloud by the chief idiot at PRN

Do these criticisms sound familiar?

** the Segals’ charity

RANT – an antivaccinationists short-hand for: “I’m too stupid to refute in a logical and scientific manner points made by anyone disagreeing with them.”

Do these criticisms sound familiar?

Yes, Hooker is saying the same thing I’ve been saying for over a week now. Actually, he is a little more generous to you guys. He is predicting missing cases in the range of 35%, and I am saying it’s closer to 45% if we consider there should be as many cases in the other cohorts as in the oldest.

“He is predicting missing cases in the range of 35%, and I am saying it’s closer to 45% if we consider there should be as many cases in the other cohorts as in the oldest.”

Greg, do you understand what Kaplan Meier is all about?

Narad: Not too cool. I agree; but it is extremely frustrating when someone continues to lie, even after he is called on it several times. Oh well. I agree with you. Prey tell. Some advice on how to react to someone like Greg? Oops! I remember your wise suggestion to just ignore him.

@Greg You avoided to comment any of my statements. First, Hviid et al determined autism rate amongst totally unvaccinated. This excludes all types vaccines, of course. Check the numbers. Secondly, as I have said two times before, the oldest cohort was 14 years old at the endpoint. It showed higher autism rate amongst unvaccinated and difference to vaccinated rising. Later cutoff would have shown clearly that vaccination reduces autism, consistent with may previous studies.

Yep: but while your infinity symbol emphasizes just how much science-based evidence there is that you’ve discussed umpteen times, you fail to understand that Greg and other antivaccinationists confront it with their infinite wisdom, wisdom based on their rigid ideology, exaggerated belief in their superior intellect, which doesn’t require actual study of any of the sciences that vaccines are built on, and, of course, the echo chamber praise they get from their fellow travelers. Do you really think that plain old logic and science has a chance??? LOL

If you’ve been following the current exchange of comments, it is obvious that Greg doesn’t respond to mine or any other other commenters who disagree with him. In fact, for him, anything that he can’t refute with logic and science is a “rant.” Yikes!

Greg could be the poster child for both antivaccinationists and, perhaps, the Flat Earth Society.

“Yes, Hooker is saying the same thing I’ve been saying for over a week now. ”

Yes. You all have the same talking point. “the MMR study has ‘missing’ autistic kids!” And it’s wrong.

Oh, no! You all say. The prevalence in the MMR study turns out to be different than that from the previous study!

Compare the two datasets –for the same kids–and you get the same numbers. Funny thing, all the data are right there. All you have to do is spend about 5 minutes with the graph. The first hint should have been, well, the fact that the two studies are clearly talking about different groups of kids. Different birth years. Follow up year is different. The amazing thing would be if they had claimed the same prevalence.

https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2019/03/14/anti-vaccine-activists-are-angry-about-a-new-study-and-dont-even-bother-to-read-it/

James Lyons-Weiler and Brian Hooker are both really, really bad at science. JLW appears to be Dunning Kruger in the flesh. He seriously doesn’t realize that he doesn’t have the skill set necessary to do even basic analyses. And, from that, he can’t see that he’s bad at this. Hooker, harder to tell. He’s clearly biased to the extreme. Also, his integrity is lacking (yes, Brian, I think that when you set yourself up as the “confessor” to Thompson so you could screw him over, that was bad).

Comments are closed.