A case-control study of autism and mumps-measles-rubella vaccination using the general practice research database: design and methodology.

L. Smeeth, A. J. Hall, Eric Fombonne, L. C. Rodrigues, X. Huang, P. G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: An association between mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccination and the onset of symptoms typical of autism has recently been suggested. This has led to considerable concern about the safety of the vaccine. METHODS: A matched case-control study using data derived form the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database. Children with a possible diagnosis of autism will be identified from their electronic health records. All diagnoses will be validated by a detailed review of hospital letters and by using information derived from a parental questionnaire. Ten controls per case will be selected from the database. Conditional logistic regression will be used to assess the association between MMR vaccination and autism. In addition case series analyses will be undertaken to estimate the relative incidence of onset of autism in defined time intervals after vaccination. The study is funded by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council. DISCUSSION: Electronic health databases offer tremendous opportunities for evaluating the adverse effects of vaccines. However there is much scope for bias and confounding. The rigorous validation of all diagnoses and the collection of additional information by parental questionnaire in this study are essential to minimise the possibility of misleading results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2
Number of pages1
JournalBMC public health [electronic resource]
Volume1
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mumps
Rubella
Measles
Autistic Disorder
General Practice
Case-Control Studies
Vaccination
Research Design
Databases
Vaccines
Electronic Health Records
Biomedical Research
Logistic Models
Safety
Incidence
Health
Research
United Kingdom
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

A case-control study of autism and mumps-measles-rubella vaccination using the general practice research database : design and methodology. / Smeeth, L.; Hall, A. J.; Fombonne, Eric; Rodrigues, L. C.; Huang, X.; Smith, P. G.

In: BMC public health [electronic resource], Vol. 1, No. 1, 2001, p. 2.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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