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Fourteenstudies.org: Study Analysis

score
-2
"Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines"
Pediactrics, Alberto Eugenio Tozzi, Patrizia Bisiacchi (February 2009)

Headline:

This study, funded by the CDC, was shopped for years until Pediatrics finally printed it. Want to compare kids who got more and less thimerosal? This is your study. No value whatsoever. We gave it a negative score for such bold fraud and misuse of data. An embarrassment.

Actual Question This Study Asked & Answered:

Q: Are autism rates different for children who received 62.5 mcg or 137.5 mcg of mercury?

A: No. (although our study had an autism rate of 1 in 1,700, which is 1/10 the U.S. rate)

Did the study look at unvaccinated children?

No.

Conflict of Interest (from the study itself):

"The study was supported in part by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through contract 2002-N-00448 with the Istituto Superiore di Sanita."

Ability to Generalize:

None whatsoever. Please read the critiques below, the study simply looked at kids receiving varying levels of mercury in their vaccines.

Post-Publication Criticism:

Extremely high, and still coming.

Scoring (Out of 40 possible points):

Asked the Right Question: -1

Ability to Generalize: -1

Conflict of Interest: 0

Post-Publication Criticism: 0

Total Score: -2 (negative number for such extreme fraud)

Choice Excerpt from the Study:

"Some limitations should be considered in the interpretation of our results. The cumulative intake of thimerosal was relatively low, compared with that in other countries including the United States, where vaccination schedules included more thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first year of life. Moreover, there was no comparison group with no exposure to thimerosal...Our analysis included only healthy children who were selected during enrollment in the original trial, and some families might have declined to participate in the present study because their children had cognitive developmental problems. This might have reduced the prevalence of adverse neuropsychological conditions and might have made potential differences hard to detect. The eligibility criteria of the original trial also limited the participation of low birth weight children, and only 55 children with birth weights of <2500 g underwent the neuropsychological evaluation (data not shown). Moreover, only 1% of children in this study received hepatitis B virus vaccine at birth. Although no effect of birth weight according to thimerosal intake was detected through multivariate analyses, our study was not powered to detect an association of thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development in low birth weight infants."

Guest Critic #1: Mike Wagnitz, Ph.D, University of Wisconsin

What are the Italians Doing Right?

In the article, "Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines", the authors identify only 1 case of autism among 1,704 subjects who were involved in the study. That makes for some real simple math, 1:1704. The rate of autism in the U.S. is 1:150. What are the Italians doing right? Why are their autism rates more than 10 times lower?

Reprinted from Pediatrics.

Guest Critic #2: John Stone

This study is misleading and was not scientifically worth doing

I note the conclusion of this study by Tozzi, Bisiacchi, Tarantino, De Mei, D'Elia, Chiarotti and Salmaso [1]. However, I also note the limitations of the study as described in the discussion:

"Some limitations should be considered in the interpretation of our results. The cumulative intake of thimerosal was relatively low, compared with that in other countries including the United States, where vaccination schedules included more thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first year of life. Moreover, there was no comparison group with no exposure to thimerosal, although our setting was appropriate to identify a dose response effect in the absence of any evidence suggesting a threshold dose for observation of an effect. Our analysis included only healthy children who were selected during enrollment in the original trial, and some families might have declined to participate in the present study because their children had cognitive developmental problems. This might have reduced the prevalence of adverse neuropsychological conditions and might have made potential differences hard to detect. The eligibility criteria of the original trial also limited the participation of low birth weight children, and only 55 children with birth weights of <2500 g underwent the neuropsychological evaluation (data not shown). Moreover, only 1% of children in this study received hepatitis B virus vaccine at birth. Although no effect of birth weight according to thimerosal intake was detected through multivariate analyses, our study was not powered to detect an association of thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development in low birth weight infants." [1]

I ask how it would be possible to draw any useful scientific conclusions from a study with such deficiencies in relation to the issues it purportedly set out to investigate? But I also reflect on the headline value of negative results for wider media consumption, as in the Associated Press report by Carla K Johnson, with contributions from Alberto Tozzi himself, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Paul Offit [2] claiming this strengthens the evidence base for vaccine safety.

[1] Alberto Eugenio Tozzi, Patrizia Bisiacchi, Vincenza Tarantino, Barbara De Mei, Lidia D'Elia, Flavia Chiarotti, and Stefania Salmaso, 'Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines', Pediatrics 2009; 123: 475-482.

[2] Carla K Johnson, 'Study adds to evidence of vaccine safety', Associated Press, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jp7ZD1RFVm7yOzgaB04Ra4dY

Reprinted from Pediatrics.

Guest Critic #3: Vincenzo Miranda, M.D., Italy

This study is not methodologically correct

The study by Tozzi and others has many limitations.

No comparison is done with children not exposed to thimerosal and neuropsychological disturbances are studied in recruiting voluntary all children even healthy ones, without assessing the sensitivity individual mercury.

With this background this study can not lead to any conclusion.

It is possible to evaluate the role of vaccines and thimerosal in neurodevelopmental disorders with the study of immune response. In my case I found a hyperimmune response to measles, polio with autoimmune reaction against myelin and glia. Moreover, the presence of antifibrillarin antibodies indicates an autoimmune response induced by mercury (HgIA).

All this can not be a coincidence.

Reprinted from Pediatrics.

Guest Critic #4: J.B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue

Feeding the Hungry Lie, Italian Style

By J.B. Handley

Well, you won't be able to miss it because it's all over the news: another "study" published in Pediatrics proving that vaccines don't cause autism.

In case you wonder how the media feels about the whole thing, consider this opening line from the Associated Press article today:

"A new study from Italy adds to a mountain of evidence that a mercury-based preservative once used in many vaccines doesn't hurt children, offering more reassurance to parents."

Mountain of evidence?

Herewith, my guide to reading this new study:
  1. Re-read my original post, Feeding the Hungry Lie HERE.
  2. Open the new study from Pediatrics, titled:

    Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines

  3. Prepare for Nausea.
  4. Read the details regarding the two groups that the Italians analyzed:

    "Therefore, in the first 12 months of life, the cumulative intake of ethylmercury, the mercury metabolite of thimerosal, was 137.5 mcg for the children who were assigned randomly to receive the DTaP vaccine that contained thimerosal ("higher intake group") and 62.5 mcg for those who received the thimerosal-free DTaP vaccine ("lower intake group")."

  5. Realize that this study is only comparing kids who got 62.5mcgs of Thimerosal to kids who got 137.5mcgs of Thimerosal. They have all been vaccinated, and they've all been vaccinated with mercury-containing vaccines.
  6. Vomit.
  7. Read about their sample size of children and prevalence of autism:

    "We detected, through the telephone interviews with parents and reviews of medical charts, 1 case of autism among the 856 children in the lower thimerosal intake group and no cases among the 848 children in the higher thimerosal intake group."

  8. Realize that in their sample, the rate of autism of the children analyzed was 1 in 1,704, 15-20 times lower than the US average.
  9. Vomit.
  10. Read the acknowledgements section:

    "The study was supported in part by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through contract 2002-N-00448 with the Istituto Superiore di Sanita."

  11. Vomit.
  12. Read the AP's headline today: Study adds to evidence of vaccine safety
  13. Vomit.
  14. Read that the Editor-In-Chief of Pediatrics, Dr. Lewis First, wrote today on his blog HERE:

    "Finally, we get to the heart of the immunization controversy with a study by Tozzi et al. on whether or not thimerosal can influence neuropsychological performance ten years after immunization in infancy (475-482). You'll be reassured that the results show essentially no differences between groups who did or did not get thimerosal in their vaccines -- and you'll want to know this information when talking with parents of your patients about the safety and benefits of vaccines."

  15. Realize that the Editor-In-Chief of Pediatrics is either grossly misinformed or lying because you read the Italian study and know every child considered received Thimerosal.
  16. Vomit one last time.
  17. Pray that this study, like many of the others that have come and gone, doesn't falsely reassure a family with a young child about how best to approach vaccines.

J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and a contributor to Age of Autism.

Reprinted from the Age Of Autism Blog