August 28, 2014
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Study on link between MMR vaccine and autism redacted from publication

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A recently published study that assessed timing of measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism among young black boys has been removed from the public domain, according to a statement from Translational Neurodegeneration.

The study, penned by Brian S. Hooker, PhD, PE, a biochemical engineer at Simpson University in Redding, Calif., found that young black boys who received the MMR vaccine before age 24 months had an increased risk for autism diagnosis. Hooker used data from a previous study conducted by the CDC, which found no association between age at MMR vaccination and autism diagnosis among children.

According to Hooker, the CDC study limited its cohort of black boys to include only those who had a valid birth certificate, which decreased the statistical significance of their analysis.

In response to these claims, the CDC said the study presented results for two sets of children: all children initially recruited and a subset of children for whom a birth certificate was available, according to a press release.

Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and lead author of the CDC study, said he and colleagues stand by the study findings.

As a result, Translational Neurodegeneration, the journal in which Hooker’s study was published, released this statement: “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The Journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.”