The kid wrote this:
“Regarding the data you speak of, I cannot publish it because I do not have access to it nor is it in my possession. We know [autism] is declining because it was discussed in email by a coauthor of then-principal investigator/now-most-wanted fugitive Poul Thorsen’s thimerosal study in email to Thorsen, his then-student and first study author Kreesten Madsen and CDC employee Diana Schendel. A much later study coauthored by Schendel was just recently published showing ASDs going down in years following thimerosal’s removal from Danish vaccines:”
He then links to this study from the University of Miami. From what he wrote above, you would expect that the paper addressed or studied a decline in the number and proportion of cases of autism in Denmark after thimerosal was removed from childhood immunizations. Did the paper address or study this?
Here is the conclusions part of the paper’s abstract:
“Our population-based recurrence risk estimate is lower than the recently reported estimates from clinical samples. Our results demonstrate no time trend in the ASDs recurrence risk as seen in the ASDs prevalence. The difference in the recurrence risk between full- and half-siblings supports the role of genetics in ASDs, while the significant recurrence risk in maternal half-siblings may support the role of factors associated with pregnancy and the maternal intrauterine environment in ASDs.”
Look at that! Autism is genetic, if not congenital. Yeah, even with that, to the kid, the wannabe epidemiologist, it was the vaccines. It’s always the vaccines. But what does the rest of the paper say about thimerosal? Good question. In short, it doesn’t. All the investigators did was look at a cohort (a group) of children and follow them. If they developed or were diagnosed with autism, they looked at exposures and as to whether or not they had autistic siblings or parents with psychiatric issues. In the results section, you can see that thimerosal was never one of those things they looked at. So why is the kid all aflutter about this study?
He seems to be obsessed with this statement: “Our population-based recurrence risk estimate is lower than the recently reported estimates from clinical samples.” In his labyrinth, this is epidemiological evidence that the rates of autism are going down after thimerosal was removed. God only knows why he thinks this. Even if you look at tables three and four in the paper, where prevalence and relative risk are shown by year of birth, the rates are the same in that they’re all within the 95% confidence interval of one another. In other words, there is no statistically significant difference between the groups when it comes to the prevalence of autism.
Nothing, absolutely nothing in that paper states what the kid wrote that it states. It’s right there under table three:
“No significant time trend was observed in the relative recurrence risk for ASDs (P = .77, test for no time trend).”
For the love of God, who taught him epidemiology? How can we have one epidemiologist (and dear friend of mine) coming out of George Washington University who finds H1N1 influenza and tells the world about it and helps the so many people get through that, and then have another self-professed epidemiologist from the same university who sees a study that doesn’t look at thimerosal or vaccines but does conclude that autism has strong genetic factors and still says to his blog audience that the study proves that removing thimerosal reduced the rates of autism? HOW?!
Then again, I could have read the study wrong, but go ahead and read it for yourselves. Tell me where I’m wrong. I’ll own up to it and make the appropriate corrections instead of holding fast to a failed ideology.
Oh, and that whole thing about the recurrence risk estimate being lower than the estimates from clinical samples? That’s always going to be the case when you conduct proper epidemiological studies on a population level. Your results will always be different than those you see in more “clinical” settings where you have a lot of control over who goes into your study and who doesn’t.