Generation Rescue Survey Results

26 Jun

Brad Handley has commissioned a telephone polling company to perform a telephone poll:

Generation Rescue commissioned an independent opinion research firm, SurveyUSA of Verona NJ, to conduct a telephone survey in nine counties in California and Oregon. Counties were selected by Generation Rescue. Interviews were successfully completed in 11,817 households with one or more children age 4 to 17. From those 11,817 households, data on 17,674 children was gathered. Of the 17,674 children inventoried, 991 were described as being completely unvaccinated. For each unvaccinated child, a heath battery was administered.

Oooh – exciting!

The results are damning apparently….

We surveyed over 9,000 boys in California and Oregon and found that vaccinated boys had a 155% greater chance of having a neurological disorder like ADHD or autism than unvaccinated boys

Woah, what? _Like_ autism…? And what the hell has ADHD got to do with anything? Oh right, right – I remember, Generation Rescue redesigned their site when they couldn’t make their old message of:

Autism is treatable. It’s reversible. It’s nothing more than mercury poisoning,” said JB Handley, founder of Generation Rescue.

stick. Now its more than just mercury and its more than just autism. Hey – if you can’t make one idea work, expand it and pretend you’ve _always_ meant that. In this survey, applicants were asked about ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, PDD-NOS, Autism, Asthma and Juvenile Diabetes. Nothing like muddying the water to make things clearer.

On the Generation Rescue page I link to above, Generation Rescue have kindly provided their source data but in closed access PDF’s. How helpful. Never mind, I turned all the aggregate data into an Excel file and had a bit of a look myself. UPDATE: All Generation Rescue Survey data is now available in Excel.

Now, my issue with Generation Rescue is solely to do with autism and vaccines. I really don’t care about their newly found interest in asthma or juvenile diabetes. Lets see what they say about their autism results:

Vaccinated boys were 61% more likely to have autism

Well, thats one way to look at it. Another way is to look at it properly. In the spreadsheet I created using Generation Rescue raw data the following was found.

Number of boys with Aspergers
Unvaccinated: 2% of total
Partially vaccinated: 3% of total
Fully vaccinated: 2%
Fully and Partially combined: 2%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have Aspergers if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being Aspergers is exactly the same as if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys with PDD-NOS
Unvaccinated: 1% of total
Partially vaccinated: 2% of total
Fully vaccinated: 1%
Fully and Partially combined: 1%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have PDD-NOS if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being PDD-NOS is exactly the same as if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys with Autism
Unvaccinated: 2% of total
Partially vaccinated: 7% of total
Fully vaccinated: 3%
Fully and Partially combined: 4%

Conclusion: you are 5% more likely to have autism if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being autistic is 1% greater than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys with all ASD’s
Unvaccinated: 4% of total
Partially vaccinated: 8% of total
Fully vaccinated: 5%
Fully and Partially combined: 5%

Conclusion: you are 4% more likely to have an ASD if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of having an ASD is 1% greater than if you were unvaccinated.

These figures are laughable. 4% more likely? And that’s if your son has been partially vaccinated! If he’s been fully vaccinated the percentage increase drops to 1%. The figures for girls are even worse.

Number of girls with Aspergers
Unvaccinated: 1% of total
Partially vaccinated: 1% of total
Fully vaccinated: 0%
Fully and Partially combined: 0%

Conclusion: you are no more likely to have Aspergers if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being Aspergers is 1% less than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of girls with PDD-NOS
Unvaccinated: 2% of total
Partially vaccinated: 1% of total
Fully vaccinated: 0%
Fully and Partially combined: 0%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have PDD-NOS if you are unvaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being PDD-NOS is 2% less than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of girls with Autism
Unvaccinated: 1% of total
Partially vaccinated: 2% of total
Fully vaccinated: 1%
Fully and Partially combined: 1%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have autism if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being autistic is no greater than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of girls with all ASD’s
Unvaccinated: 3% of total
Partially vaccinated: 3% of total
Fully vaccinated: 1%
Fully and Partially combined: 1%

Conclusion: you are no more likely to have an ASD if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of having an ASD is 2% less than if you were unvaccinated.

My goodness, this is _awful_ for Generation Rescue. Finally, we’ll look at girls and boys together:

Number of boys and girls with Aspergers
Unvaccinated: 1% of total
Partially vaccinated: 2% of total
Fully vaccinated: 1%
Fully and Partially combined: 2%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have Aspergers if you have been partially vaccinated than unvaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being Aspergers is no greater than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys and girls with PDD-NOS
Unvaccinated: 2% of total
Partially vaccinated: 2% of total
Fully vaccinated: 1%
Fully and Partially combined: 1%

Conclusion: you are 1% more likely to have PDD-NOS if you are unvaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being PDD-NOS is 1% less than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys and girls with Autism
Unvaccinated: 2% of total
Partially vaccinated: 4% of total
Fully vaccinated: 2%
Fully and Partially combined: 2%

Conclusion: you are 2% more likely to have autism if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being autistic is no greater than if you were unvaccinated.

Number of boys and girls with all ASD’s
Unvaccinated: 4% of total
Partially vaccinated: 6% of total
Fully vaccinated: 3%
Fully and Partially combined: 3%

Conclusion:you are 2% more likely to have an ASD if you have been partially vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated your chance of being autistic is 1% less than if you were unvaccinated.

There’s no getting away from this. This is a disaster for Generation Rescue and the whole ‘vaccines cause autism’ debacle. Generation Rescue’s data indicates that you are ‘safer’ from autism if you fully vaccinate than partially vaccinate. It also indicates that across the spectrum of autism, you are only 1% more likely to be autistic if you have had any sort of vaccination as oppose to no vaccinations at all – and thats only if you are male. If you are a girl you chances of being on the spectrum are _less_ if you have been vaccinated! Across both boys and girls, your chances of being on the spectrum are _less_ if you have received all vaccinations.

Elsewhere

Orac
Prometheus

81 Responses to “Generation Rescue Survey Results”

  1. bethduckie June 26, 2007 at 11:17 #

    Oh my….

  2. Tom June 26, 2007 at 11:24 #

    Thanks for finding the truth behind the GR lies.

    I see that U.S. Representative Carol Maloney of New York reintroduced her bill, the “Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Populations Act of 2007” (H.R. 2832). She did this on the very same day GR released their publicity stunt.

    Maloney has no idea how much she’s been lied to.

  3. Brian Deer June 26, 2007 at 11:32 #

    As a professor of medical statistics once said to me: “You have to remember that half the population is of below average intelligence.”

    I’m sure Generation Rescue would think it was more.

  4. notmercury June 26, 2007 at 13:22 #

    Conclusion: you are 5% more likely to have autism if you have been partially vaccinated.

    Or, once a child has been diagnosed as autistic the parents will read up on autism on the internet and stop vaccinating.

  5. mumkeepingsane June 26, 2007 at 13:37 #

    But doesn’t even one un-vaccinated child with autsim kinda wreck the whole theory?

    Oh, and when I found out my child had autism I went online, read the ‘vaccination theory’, realized it was unbelievably unsupportable and continuted vaccinating my son.

  6. Kev June 26, 2007 at 13:40 #

    _”Or, once a child has been diagnosed as autistic the parents will read up on autism on the internet and stop vaccinating.”_

    Exactly.

  7. notmercury June 26, 2007 at 14:12 #

    mumkeepingsane: But doesn’t even one un-vaccinated child with autsim kinda wreck the whole theory?

    One would think though I should have specified that they may stop vaccinating their autistic child hence the partially vaccinated status.

  8. Joseph June 26, 2007 at 14:16 #

    So comparing 2% to 3% they conclude it’s 60% more likely! That’s one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in a long time. I’m ROTFL. Did they teach Brad about margin of error at Stanford?

    BTW, with “155% more likely” they of course mean “1.5 times”. It’s like with the “6000% increase” which really means “60 times”. It’s a pattern with GR apparently.

    If you consider likely confounds, e.g. distrust in healthcare, I think the results of this survey are meaningless, and Brad probably realizes that. He was certainly expecting to come up with something a lot more substantial. I’m sure he’s quite disappointed.

    In fairness, I should note there are obvious confounds in the other direction, and I expected the results to be more dismal and surprising.

  9. kristina June 26, 2007 at 14:20 #

    SurveyUSA notes that its research “can be completed within days”—-it seems that this fast turnaround is a key selling point. Among the “private market research work” that they do are customer satisfaction surveys, brand positioning, talent testing, coincidental research…… (full list here). They’ve done research (they say) for Merck too.

  10. Joseph June 26, 2007 at 14:29 #

    BTW, aren’t these rates of autism kind of high, or am I interpreting that in the wrong way? How did they select the surveyed population?

    There does seem to be a possible trend in differences between boys and girls. I bet it’s because the confounds apply differently to boys vs. girls. But watch for the Geiers using that to suggest vaccines interact with testosterone somehow.

  11. culvercitycynic June 26, 2007 at 16:03 #

    _How did they select the surveyed population?_

    By selecting specific counties within specific Regional Centers, I wonder?

  12. Prometheus June 26, 2007 at 16:54 #

    I just ran the GR survey numbers on autism, comparing autism + PDD in unvaccinated and fully vaccinate boys and found that the difference is not statistically significant (p=0.2 for one-tailed and 0.4 for two-tailed distribution).

    But, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    Prometheus

  13. MercuryDad June 26, 2007 at 17:38 #

    Hey Prometheus:

    Whatever you do, don’t mention any numbers that may actually implicate vaccines. And, any interest in correcting Kevin on his math up above, or are you going to let that slide?

    All vaccinated boys, compared to unvaccinated boys:
    – Vaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.55, p<0.001)
    – Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have ADHD (RR 3.24, p<0.001)
    – Vaccinated boys were 61% more likely to have autism (RR 1.61, p<0.05)

    Older vaccinated boys, ages 11-17 (about half the boys surveyed), compared to older unvaccinated boys:
    – Vaccinated boys were 158% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.58, p=0.001)
    – Vaccinated boys were 317% more likely to have ADHD (RR 4.17, p<0.02)
    (Note: older children may be a more reliable indicator because many children are not diagnosed until they are 6-8 years old, and we captured data beginning at age 4.)

  14. Kev June 26, 2007 at 17:55 #

    What’s this ‘neurological disorder’ stuff Brad? I’m talking about _autism_ . If you think older kids are more significant, lets look at your data:

    Ages 11-17, all kids:
    Aspergers (unvaccinated): 1%
    Aspergers (part vaccinated): 2%
    Aspergers (full vaccinated): 2%
    Aspergers (comb part + full): 2%

    Thats a difference of 1%.

    PDD-NOS (unvaccinated): 1%
    PDD-NOS (part vaccinated): 2%
    PDD-NOS (full vaccinated): 1%
    PDD-NOS(comb part + full): 1%

    Thats no difference – except for part vaccinated who are subject to bias.

    autism (unvaccinated): 2%
    autism (part vaccinated): 4%
    autism (full vaccinated): 2%
    autism (comb part + full): 2%

    Thats no difference – except for part vaccinated who are subject to bias.

    ASD (unvaccinated): 3%
    ASD (part vaccinated): 5%
    ASD (full vaccinated): 3%
    ASD (comb part + full): 3%

    Thats no difference – except for part vaccinated who are subject to bias.

    So Brad – when we drop this silly ‘neurological disorder’ crapola and concentrate on what we know you’re really interested in – autism – there are _no differences between unvaccinated kids and fully vaccinated kids_ . Do you see that?

  15. MercuryDad June 26, 2007 at 18:06 #

    Kevin:

    80% of the diagnoses are with the boys, and you are quoting only boys and girls. You have no interest in dealing with the clear differences the survey highlighted, which is fine with us, but looking at this by gender when 80% of the cases are with the boys is both reasonable and appropriate.

    Of course, doing so wouldn’t help your case so I’m sure you won’t bother.

    MercuryDad

  16. clone3g June 26, 2007 at 18:08 #

    Holy crap, did Brad hire 2.1 Geiers (RR 2.55, p 0.001) to do the number crunching for him?

  17. Kev June 26, 2007 at 18:19 #

    OK, so we have to now look not at younger kids and not at girls. What next? Star sign?

    Ages 11-17, boys:
    Aspergers (unvaccinated): 2%
    Aspergers (part vaccinated): 4%
    Aspergers (full vaccinated): 3%
    Aspergers (comb part + full): 3%

    Thats a difference of 1%.

    PDD-NOS (unvaccinated): 1%
    PDD-NOS (part vaccinated): 2%
    PDD-NOS (full vaccinated): 1%
    PDD-NOS (comb part + full): 1%

    Thats no difference – except for part vaccinated who are subject to bias.

    autism (unvaccinated): 2%
    autism (part vaccinated): 6%
    autism (full vaccinated): 3%
    autism (comb part + full): 3%

    Thats a difference of 1%.

    ASD (unvaccinated): 3%
    ASD (part vaccinated): 8%
    ASD (full vaccinated): 4%
    ASD (comb part + full): 5%

    Thats a difference of 1% for full vacc, 2% for full and part and 5% for part vacc (who are subject to bias).

    I really don’t know what to say to you Brad. You’re quibbling about the difference between 1% and 2% for ASD. If you really think these data are in any way significant then, well, good luck!

  18. Rich June 26, 2007 at 18:26 #

    I can’t believe they paid $200,000 for this. For that kind of money, you could do an entire prevalence study in India, screening up to 45,000 kids and doing ADOSs and ADIRs and really get some rates where our knowledge of autism is virtually nothing.

  19. Rich June 26, 2007 at 18:33 #

    I just hope this organization doesn’t claim that this is a “prevalence” study or try to use words like “risk ratio,” because having read their data and analysis, this is certainly not an epidemiological study. It would be crucial, of course, to know what their participation rate is. How many people hung up? People that are going to stay on the line through something like this are going to be people who have children with issues or are concerned about their kids having problems. Enormous problems with selection bias. The study will be completely ignored by scientists. But they will probably get the ears of congressmen, etc. and further decrease vaccination rates. In the time it took me to write this comment, 5-10 probably died somewhere in the world from Measles. I would not want to be responsible for decreasing vaccination rates.

  20. Ms. Clark June 26, 2007 at 18:38 #

    oooooh,

    so when does this get published in a peer reviewed journal and not just on a pharma sponserd news webstie (PharmaLive?)

    Without knowing how slanted the questions were and without knowing how many people hung up on the surveyors because their kids had no problems at all, how can we know the significance of the numbers. If only 5 people with unvaxed kids claimed to have children who were totally free of ADHD etc, and 800 people claimed to have vaxed and partially vaxed kids who had ADHD then the results are meaningless.

    People who don’t vaccinate their kids are probably less likely to see out diagnoses of anything for their kids. They might not even don’t have regular doctors because regular doctors sometimes won’t accept antivax patitents.

    Also, are the kids unvaxed because they have an genetic disorder or something that makes them sensitive to vaccines (DeGeorge syndrome?), or are allergic to eggs or something?

    Did Brad’s surveyors ask why parents didn’t vaccinate? Fear of “the man”? Fear of the medical system? Did their kid get an ASD dx from “the man” and did the parent then rediagnose the kid as “an indigo” or “a crystal”?

    Maybe Generation Rescue will become heroic in the lives of ADHD kids now who will be getting EDTA suppositories by the gross and vinegar and garlic IV’s by the gallon, and GR will just leave autism alone.

  21. passionlessDrone June 26, 2007 at 18:57 #

    Hi Kev –

    You are performing some very curious operations with percentage values. Why?

    For example, lets evaluate the alcohol content of beer and wine.

    beer: 5%
    wine: 10%

    Tonight I may drink 100 ounces of beer. Tomorrow I may drink 100 ounces of wine. How much drunker will I get on the second night? 5% or 100%?

    You may also be interested in knowing that Excel is capable of calculating numbers to an area to the right of the decimal point. When comparing differences between small numbers, this is frequently useful.

    I’m not here to defend a phone study; they can be done very poorly by accident or on purpose. But that is no reason to pile on with more bogus information.

    -pD

  22. Joseph June 26, 2007 at 19:04 #

    I think there’s a clear reason why the results for “neurological disorders” like ADHD are more pronounced than those of autism. ADHD is a diagnosis that is easier to “miss” (using curebie terminology). A parent who is against vaccination, anti-science and anti-medical establishment, is also less likely to see a psychiatrist about having a child labeled with ADHD. It would be fairly easy to get away with that too for something like ADHD, despite pressure from schools and so forth. (Note that ADHD diagnoses are given very liberaly in the US, with about 10% of children diagnosed).

  23. Kev June 26, 2007 at 19:45 #

    pD – download the data, or get it from Brad. I’m following the same percentage/decimal conventions as GR are. No tricks. If GR round it up or down then so do I.

    A 0 is a 0 no matter how many ways you try and retro fit it to an agenda.

  24. Prometheus June 26, 2007 at 20:01 #

    I can only wonder what statistical methods were used to come up with the p-values MercuryDad quoted. I wonder if we’ll ever know.

    Fortunately, since the raw data is available, we can do our OWN statistics, which – as I mentioned above – shows that the differences are not statistically significant.

    Of course, big issue is the composition of the survey itself, including the nature of the questions, the number of people contacted to get the number of responses (response rate) and the definitions of “autism” and ADD/ADHD used.

    Has anyone seen the accompanying full-page newspaper ad? I’ve heard about it from friends, but haven’t seen it myself. Reportedly, it comes across as being broadly anti-vaccination and doesn’t mention mercury even once.

    Prometheus

  25. MercuryDad June 26, 2007 at 20:02 #

    Criticism: Parents who do not vaccinate their children are less likely to seek an ND diagnosis, which explains the difference in prevalence you found.

    Response: We think the data disproves this, because we found no meaningful difference in prevalence for NDs between vaccinated and unvaccinated girls. If this was simply an issue of parent behavior, the girls would have shown wide discrepancies in prevalence, too, and they did not.

  26. Kev June 26, 2007 at 20:28 #

    David Kirby thinks phone surveys are not data

    (click the first video).

  27. Prometheus June 26, 2007 at 20:33 #

    Darn “less than” sign tripped me up! See the corrected comment below.

    Prometheus

  28. Prometheus June 26, 2007 at 20:33 #

    I ran the GR numbers again, looking just at boys, comparing “unvaccinated” with “any vaccinations” and lumping all ASD’s together and got a p=0.54 (not significant) by Chi Square and p=0.27 (not significant) by treating them as two independent proportions.

    If you take ALL “neurologic disorders” (they only report ASD and Add/ADHD) in boys, THEN you can get p less than 0.001. This, of course, begs the question of what – if any – connection there might be between autism and ADD/ADHD (apart from being over-used and poorly-defined diagnoses).

    Interestingly, with girls, the ASD-only comparison (“unvaccinated” vs “any vaccinations”) showed a statistically significant difference, where it wasn’t significant in the boys. This, apparently, wasn’t in line with their pre-conceived notions and so didn’t get reported.

    Unfortunately, this is just a telephone survey, where people were asked questions by people who don’t know very much about autism OR ADD/ADHD.

    It is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Prometheus

  29. Joseph June 26, 2007 at 20:39 #

    It is believed (although not proven either way) that the difference in ASD prevalence between boys and girls is largely cultural.

    The same cultural bias that presumably exists in seeking the diagnosis of autism for boys vs. girls could be at play in the survey results, Brad.

    And like I said, there’s at least one counfound that works in the other direction, so we could be looking at a sort of equilibrium of confounds in the results for girls. (Actually, girls seem to be at a slightly higher risk of ASD when not vaccinated, right? Are you going to mention this on the GR website, Brad?)

    Prometheus: “Has anyone seen the accompanying full-page newspaper ad?”

    That actually answers the question about the relatively high rates found by the survey. It also suggests other likely confounds.

  30. bones June 26, 2007 at 21:03 #

    If able, I recommend watching ABC Nightline News, 11:30 (EST, in the States). Tonight’s report features the OAP hearing, Geiers and Rev Sykes.

    Nothing like a good comedy.

  31. Margaret Romao Toigo June 26, 2007 at 21:19 #

    Regarding the ABC Nightline story, there is a related print article on the ABC News web site.

  32. Junior June 26, 2007 at 23:10 #

    “Spending time with the Geiers leaves one with the feeling that it is something other than money that motivates them to swim outside the mainstream. Perhaps it is defiance or ego or the love of people like Lisa Sykes, who trusts the Geiers and hope for a positive outcome.”

    From the ABC News story linked above. Get out the barf bags. Can someone contact Kathleen Seidel, in the comments section there is a link to email the segment producers if you have additional information about a story.

  33. Phil June 27, 2007 at 00:12 #

    MercuryDad/Brad,

    Give it up. Kev has owned you lock stock and barrel and you just won’t admit it.

    Get off the mercury bandwagon – you’re making a fool of yourself just like the lawyers for the petitioners in the Omnibus case are. Autism is not reversible and the sooner you admit that the better.

  34. Rich June 27, 2007 at 00:42 #

    so to follow up on Joseph: if you take the “rates” (I hate to legitimize such a “study” with the word “rates) of ASDs in this phone survey, doesn’t it come out to about 10%? So is this bizarre organization saying that 10% of kids have an ASD?

    That’s way more than the CDC’s 1 in 150.

  35. Bartholomew Cubbins June 27, 2007 at 01:30 #

    The good that could have come from this kind of money is maddening. What could have been: advocacy, disability rights, transition training, etc.

    This little phone tree was an ill-conceived venture and any attempt to defend it is simply circling the BMWs in an effort to calm donors.

  36. Mercury Dad,

    “Neurological disorder”? First rate buffoonery my friend. What do you do for an encore?

  37. JScarry June 27, 2007 at 03:10 #

    Kevin.
    Speaking as a retired economist who played with numbers all day, you are probably correct in thinking that the study has flaws but your interpretation is very, very wrong.
    Generally, if one sub-group has a 2% incidence and another has a 4% incidence then the second is 100% more likely than the first to be affected. Likewise, the first group is 50% as likely as the second to be affected.
    You should get some help from a statistician and then repost.

  38. Matt June 27, 2007 at 03:45 #

    Hello…a phone survey…sure…no, my parents are not at home… vaccinations..nope..I hate them… neurological disorder…sure, I have one….

    HeHe, hey Bevis, he said neurological disorder!

    Matt

  39. Interverbal June 27, 2007 at 03:45 #

    JScarry,

    These data should not be described as “incidence” data.

    Also, I have a question for you, that has three possible answers:

    When one compares 2 groups where the sample size of one group is only 6% of the size of the other; in which direction does this create bias?

    a)Towards the larger group?
    b)The smaller group?
    c)No problem here, it is a well designed study in this regard?

    It is carefully explained to the public what is meant by “100% more likely”. Especially since stating whopping percentages, sounds a lot more impressive then saying: “We failed to get a statistically significant score using a basic Chi-Square analysis”.

  40. Kev June 27, 2007 at 05:46 #

    _”Generally, if one sub-group has a 2% incidence and another has a 4% incidence then the second is 100% more likely than the first to be affected. Likewise, the first group is 50% as likely as the second to be affected.”_

    Cool – if thats how you want to see it then be my guest. I’m posting on how _I_ see it.

    As stated by others, using words like ‘incidence’ dignify this waste of time and money. As it is, I’ll take the Sue M tried and trusted ‘common sense’ point of view when it comes to rubbish studies/data.

  41. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) June 27, 2007 at 09:20 #

    “But doesn’t even one un-vaccinated child with autsim kinda wreck the whole theory?”

    Actually, since they have been working on some sort of an induction proof, and since it takes only one counter-example to effectively destroy an induction proof… yup, their theory’s buggered.

    (“My kid was vaccinated and is now autistic, and her kid’s vacinated and is now autistic… and someone else’s kid was vaccinated and is now autistic…” is basically their pitch and it is basically an induction proof).

  42. Junior June 27, 2007 at 12:47 #

    “But doesn’t even one un-vaccinated child with autsim kinda wreck the whole theory?”

    I have the hardest time understanding the parents who did not vaccinate their child and the child is now autistic, but the parents are still firm believers in the mercury/vaccine causation idea. Even though they don’t belong in the club (cult?), they still want to be in it. They even chelate their children. Bizarre.

  43. Joseph June 27, 2007 at 14:15 #

    Kev’s explanation of the numbers is not quite right – that’s true. But there’s also an error in assuming that the risk ratio can be just calculated by dividing the proportions. 3% divided by 2% gives a 1.5 RR, but you can’t assume that’s what the RR is. What matters is the 95% confidence interval, which could be, say, 0.5 to 3.0 or something. As Prometheus explained, there is no statisticial significance in the RRs for autism at least, except an RR less than 1.0 for girls as I understood it. The average RR for boys and girls combined should still be less than 1.0, which is really what Kev’s post points out in the end.

    What’s interesting about this survey, as commented above, is that the fantasy that unvaccinated children don’t develop autism (e.g. the Amish and so forth) is no longer tenable. They are left with arguments about a small increased risk.

    Further, if Brad believes his own survey, I’m not sure if he can, in good conscience, not caution parents about not vaccinating girls. Is he fighting autism or is he fighting vaccines? He needs to ask himself that.

    Though to emphasize, the high “rates” found by the survey point to a significant methodological flaw in it.

  44. Kev June 27, 2007 at 14:43 #

    Jospeph’s absolutely right. I’m well aware I’m not using these numbers in a statistically correct manner. My point with this post is that these data are so far removed from anything approaching significance that anything can be read into them.

  45. 666sigma June 27, 2007 at 15:01 #

    I have not had time to look at the data, but one thing I am certain of from reading your comments. Kev, I’m sorry, but you simply are not qualified to interpret this data. You don’t have the training or educational background to analyze this data.

    And that’s the problem with virtually every study done on this subject, including the so-called reputable studies. The people doing them really are not properly trained to perform these kind of analysis.

    You’ll be happy to know that Excel will do the calculations for you if you know how to use them. Look under Tools for Data Analysis. Have fun.

  46. Kev June 27, 2007 at 15:31 #

    What???? Are you seriously suggesting my media/design related degree isn’t up to understanding stats????

    Like I’ve said at least twice???

    Good grief, what is the world coming too? Next you’ll be suggesting that I’m not a lawyer even though I talk about the Omnibus hearings!!!

    You don’t have to be sorry Siggy. As far as I see it, you don’t _need_ any training to be able to see that 0 + 0 is 0.

  47. passionlessDrone June 27, 2007 at 17:07 #

    Hi Preston –

    “Assuming you weigh about 200lbs, are male, and consume the beverages on both days over the course of about 4 hours, and that you define “drunker” as the difference in blood alcohol level, the answer is probably closer to 300%.

    Although day two’s blood alcohol level is 300% of day one, the difference between the two is about .23%”

    My point is that simply subtracting two percentages and evaluating the difference can lead to misleading ‘conclusions’. Clearly you understood this, yet for whatever reason you have introduced time lines and blood levels. What if I drink all one hundred ounces of beer / wine at once, and instead of drunkedness we measure the number of molecules of alcohol my liver processes?

    “Real physiological and behavioral effects in terms of “autistic” as a direct result of vaccination have not been scientifically shown to exist (here’s the part where all the idiots say, “yeah, but they haven’t been shown to not exist”).”

    Behaviorally, you are correct. I’m curious, could you describe for me an ethical experiment wherein the ‘real behavioral effects in terms of autistics as a direct result of vaccinations’ could be shown to exist? Considering that vaccinations are given starting the day a child is born, and autism is nearly never diagnosed until the child is at least 2, how could such an expirement be implemented? Surely you wouldn’t demand expiremental proof of something that would be impossible to obtain, yet I cannot determine how such an expirement could be carried out. If you would like to argue that it is impossible to perform such a study, how can you simultaneously argue that vaccines have been proven not to be associated with the behaviors associated with autism?

    As far as physiological effects, I’m not sure you are correct. It would seem that neonatal infection by ruebella, and possibly other agents has been shown to increase incidence of autism, has it not? Has not encephalitis at birth been shown to be associated with greater rates of autism? Are there not reported instances of viral encephalitis and/or meningitis later in life resulting in behaviors consistent with autism? Some vaccinations are known to carry with them the side effect of acute encephalitis, do they not? Admittedly, these side effects are reported very rarely, but this is for acute issues, as opposed to sub acute. We now know that autistics show signs of brain inflamation at levels that were not described as encephalitis; the people in the study certainly were not hospitalized, or killed by the inflammation. While I understand that there are different mechanisms of encephalitis, and those described in autism thus far do not correspond exactly to known conditions such as MS, issues such as post mortem collection and the possible differences between initiating processes and those observed during chronic periods cannot rule this possibility out. As far as other physiological issues, most of them simply have not been studied.

    Imagine if everyone smoked Marlboros, Parliments, Kools, and Camels. Some people believed this might be responsible for lung cancer in some cases. Several expirements are performed. In some, people are no longer given Kools; yet their incidence of cancer is seen as contsant. In some expirements, the tar is removed from all cigarettes, yet again, the incidence of cancer does not move. Would these experiments exhonerate cigarettes from cancer? Yet this is an apt analogy towards what is repeatedly declared as the great body of evidence proving that there is no association between vaccinations and autism or other disorders. Why?

    -pD

  48. notmercury June 27, 2007 at 19:38 #

    pD: “I’m not sure you are correct. It would seem that neonatal infection by ruebella, and possibly other agents has been shown to increase incidence of autism, has it not?”

    I’m not aware of any case reports of neonatal infection resulting in autistic like behaviors. Maternal exposure to rubella and things like valproic acid are associated with autism but that’s generally prenatal.

    Of course there is Heller’s Syndrome, first described in 1908, which, conceivably might be exacerbated by immune stimulation including like vaccination, but there is probably a pre-existing and underlying infection to blame.

    There are reports of older people who develop autistic-like symptoms following herpes encephalitis but those would be considered atypical.

    pD: Yet this is an apt analogy towards what is repeatedly declared as the great body of evidence proving that there is no association between vaccinations and autism or other disorders. Why?

    Because groups in the US have made it about the single ingredient thimerosal while groups in the UK have tried to make it all about measles. And, it’s not that there is a great body of evidence proving a lack of association, it’s that there is an extremely small body of evidence to confirm an association.

  49. passionlessDrone June 27, 2007 at 20:31 #

    Hi notmercury –

    “I’m not aware of any case reports of neonatal infection resulting in autistic like behaviors. Maternal exposure to rubella and things like valproic acid are associated with autism but that’s generally prenatal.”

    My terminology was incorrect. I was referring to the study associating maternal exposure to ruebella. None the less, exposure to a virus results in an increase in autism; both in utero and in some rare instances, to older individuals. Even though the exact mechanism of action is not known (though encephalitis certainly would seem one logical choice), the association has survived the chi squared analysis. It seems only logical to assume that infants, with reduced immune capabilities, would be at risk for the same experience.

    (I was not aware of the valporic acid link, very interesting.)

    “Because groups in the US have made it about the single ingredient thimerosal while groups in the UK have tried to make it all about measles.”

    I would tend to agree with the statement that singling out individual ingredients and/or agents as causes of such a heterogeneous condition as autism is misguided.

    “And, it’s not that there is a great body of evidence proving a lack of association, it’s that there is an extremely small body of evidence to confirm an association.”

    It would seem that we are in agreement in one thing, namely that there has been very little research in either direction questioning the association between the total load of the vaccination schedule and development of neurological disorders.

    While not a damning indictment, it is also, hardly a ringing endorsement. What’s more, this is quite a different spin than is usually assigned to the argument of vaccination side effects. How refreshing.

    Take care.

    – pD

  50. Prometheus June 28, 2007 at 00:27 #

    I ran the numbers from the GR survey and a few odd things popped out at me:

    The prevalence of autism in the entire group (all 17,674 kids) was 4.7%.

    That’s right 4.7%!That would be 1 child in 21!

    The latest report from the CDC gave a prevalence of about 0.65% (1 in 154).

    The ADD/ADHD number were also suspect, coming in at 10.6%.

    That’s right, 10.6%! That would be 1 child in 9!

    Clearly, even without looking at their methods, the numbers coming out of this survey are simply garbage.

    You’d think they would have checked this out before paying for a full-page ad.

    For more details, see my blog.

    Prometheus

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: