麻疹流行の深刻化／英国医療事情 はしか ワクチン
Autism-vaccine researcher a "fraud": medical journal
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 6, 2011 5:14am EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the-now disgraced British doctor who published studies linking vaccines with autism, committed an "elaborate fraud" by faking data, the British Medical Journal said on Wednesday.
The journal's editors said it was not possible that Wakefield made a mistake but must have falsified the data for his study, which convinced thousands of parents that vaccines are dangerous and which is blamed for ongoing outbreaks of measles and mumps.
The journal, commonly nicknamed the BMJ, supported its position with a series of articles by a journalist who used medical records and interviews to show that Wakefield falsified data.
For instance, the reports found that Wakefield, who included data from only 12 children in his report, studied at least 13 and that several showed symptoms of autism before having been vaccinated.
Fears that vaccines might cause autism have not only caused parents to skip vaccinating their children, but have forced costly reformulations of many vaccines.
"Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield," BMJ editor Dr. Fiona Godlee and colleagues wrote in a commentary, available online here
In 1998, The Lancet medical journal, a rival to the BMJ, published a study by Wakefield and colleagues linking the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism.
The other researchers later withdrew their names from the study and The Lancet formally retracted the paper in February.
Wakefield denied the allegations.
"The study is not a lie. The findings that we have made have been replicated in five countries around the world," Wakefield told CNN television on Wednesday.
A disciplinary panel of Britain's General Medical Council said last February that Wakefield had presented his research in an "irresponsible and dishonest" way and had brought the medical profession into disrepute.
Godlee and colleagues said the work "was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud".
"Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare," they added.
Many experts have tried to show that vaccines might cause autism. Newer suspicions have focused on thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once used in many vaccines and since removed from childhood vaccines.
But no studies have shown any clear link. The U.S. Institute of Medicine has issued several reports saying not only is there no evidence of a link, but urging researchers to look elsewhere for possible causes of autism, which affects an estimated 1 in 110 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses known, infecting 10 million people a year and killing 164,000, according to the World Health Organization.
Vaccination has reduced the number of measles deaths by 78 percent, WHO says. But refusal by some parents to get children vaccinated has helped fuel a resurgence in Britain.
In a 2007 U.S. outbreak, 127 people became ill and nearly half were children who had not been vaccinated because their parents objected, the CDC said. In 2009, an outbreak in Wales sickened more than 200 people
(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Philip Barbara)
BMJ 2011; 342:c5347 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c5347 (Published 5 January 2011)
Cite this as: BMJ 2011; 342:c5347
* Secrets of the MMR scare
How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed
1. Brian Deer, journalist
In the first part of a special BMJ series, Brian Deer exposes the bogus data behind claims that launched a worldwide scare over the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, and reveals how the appearance of a link with autism was manufactured at a London medical school
When I broke the news to the father of child 11, at first he did not believe me. “Wakefield told us my son was the 13th child they saw,” he said, gazing for the first time at the now infamous research paper which linked a purported new syndrome with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. 1 “There’s only 12 in this.”
That paper was published in the Lancet on 28 February 1998. It was retracted on 2 February 2010. 2 Authored by Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith, and 11 others from the Royal Free medical school, London, it reported on 12 developmentally challenged children, 3 and triggered a decade long public health scare.
“Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated by the parents with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children,” began the paper’s “findings.” Adopting these claims as fact, 4 its “results” section added: “In these eight children the average interval from exposure to first behavioural symptoms was 6.3 days (range 1-14).”
Mr 11, an American engineer, looked again at the paper: a five page case series of 11 boys and one girl, aged between 3 and 9 years. Nine children, it said, had diagnoses of “regressive” autism, and all but one were reported with “non-specific colitis.” The “new syndrome” brought these together, linking brain and bowel diseases. His son was the penultimate case.
Running his finger across the paper’s tables, over coffee in London, Mr 11 seemed reassured by his anonymised son’s age and other details. But then he …
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