A study from Department of Health Services in Berkeley, California published in the 7 March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows no causal link between MMR immunization and the occurrence of autism.

Loring Dales and colleagues performed retrospective analyses of annual MMR immunization rates among children enrolled in California kindergartens and of annual autism cases recorded in the California Department of Developmental Services. For children born 1980–1994 no correlation was observed between the incidences of children with autism and the increase in childhood MMR immunization. A 373% relative increase in autism case numbers was noted, but over the same time period the immunization coverage had a relative increase of only 14%, (JAMA 2001, 285:1183-1185).

This study confirms the findings of a similar report published in 8 February BMJ, but shares the same weaknesses associated with time trend analyses, a technique generally...

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