Some people have speculated that the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR), which is routinely given to millions of children each year, had caused a huge surge in autism over the last 30 years. The vaccine rate has plummeted since the study, while autism continues to rise.
A study in the February 19th, 2001 British Medical Journal provides an interesting perspective.
In the United Kingdom, the surge in autism continues, with a sevenfold increase between 1988 and 1999 (from 0.3 cases per 10,000 people to 2.1 per 10,000). However, the rate of MMR vaccine has not gone up sevenfold, but has remained constant at 9,700 per 10,000 children.
This provides further evidence that MMR, which protects children against diseases that can cause sterility, blindness, birth defects, and death, is not responsible for the unhappy surge in autism.
We need to find the real cause.Reviewed by: Alan Greene
Last reviewed: March 03, 2004