A new study slated to appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that there is no association between the amount of vaccines a young child receives and autism. Some parents have worried that there may be a link and have opted out of having their child vaccinated or reduced the number of vaccines recommended.
The percentage of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased by 72% since 2007. Some experts believe that changes in the diagnostic criteria may account for some of the increase as well as better screening tools and rating scales.
According to a statement released from the journal, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Abt Associates analyzed data from children with and without ASD.
Researchers examined each child's cumulative exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body's immune system to produce antibodies to fight disease, and the maximum number of antigens each child received in a single day of vaccination, the journal's statement said.
The antigen totals were the same for children with and without ASD, researchers found.
Scientists believe genetics play a fundamental role in the risk for a child developing autism (80-90%), but recent studies also suggests that the fathers age at the time of conception may also be a contributor by increasing risks for genetic mistakes in the sperm that could be passed along to offspring.
Parents have worried about a link between vaccines and autism for decades despite the growing body of scientific evidence disproving such an association.
Source: Luciana Lopez, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/29/us-usa-health-autism-idUSBRE92S0GO20130329
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