Study finds no MMR link to autism

Further evidence that there is no link between MMR and autism has been published by Canadian scientists.

The study of 27,749 children showed no link between MMR uptake and pervasive development disorders (PDD), with rates of PDD actually increasing as MMR uptake fell.

The findings provided more evidence against the theory that MMR can induce autism, which was first proposed by Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998.

Children born between 1987 and 1998 were included in the study. A special needs team identified 180 of the children as having autism, Asperger's syndrome or a non-specified PDD.

On average, 93 per cent of children had MMR, with uptake decreasing after the MMR- autism link was proposed. Rates of PDD actually increased when MMR uptake decreased.

In 1996, the researchers found the increase of PDD prevalence continued at the same rate after the introduction of a second MMR jab at age 18 months.

Lead researcher Dr Eric Fombonne, director of paediatric psychiatry at Montreal Children's Hospital, said: 'We believe this study will finally put to rest to the pervasive belief that links vaccines with developmental diseases like autism.'

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