Tag Archives: vaccination

The Amish don’t get autism, and they aren’t vaccinated

Bloggers are talking about the autism-vaccine link these days, and some of them have brought up a little investigation done in 2005 by United Press International reporter Dan Olmsted. Olmsted wanted to know whether the Amish, who largely don’t vaccinate their children, suffer autism at the same rates as everybody else.

Olmstead took a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and embarked on looking for people with autism. If the prevailing theory that autism is genetic was correct, there should have been 1 in 166 people in that population with autism, he figured. (One in 166 was the accepted figure at the time. Now it’s more like 1 in 100.)

He figured there would be about 130 people in the Amish community there with autism, based on 1 in 166.  About half of those would have easily identifiable classic autism, he said. So, upwards of 50 with classic autism. And he started asking around to find them.

He found only three.

Coincidentally or not, at least two of the three had been vaccinated. One had been adopted from China and had received all her vaccinations on the same day.

Now, there are other variables too.  Amish eat a far-different diet from most Americans. They’re mostly from the same gene pool. And so on. So this isn’t conclusive evidence. What’s needed is a study matching vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and comparing autism rates. No one with any money is willing to do this, at least so far. Since it would settle the question, I do wonder why not.

And what about the headlines a while back about a polio outbreak in an Amish community? According to the HealthWyze blog, it turns out that was a strain of polio that came from a five-year-old vaccine. It didn’t sicken the children, but was found in their stools only. Odd that this made headlines, isn’t it?

UPI report: http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/media/e.4.pdf

Health Wyze: http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/295-the-amish-dont-get-autism-but-they-do-get-bio-terrorism.html

A Facebook survey of unvaccinated children

Since the people controlling the research money won’t touch the question of comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, a non-scientist has picked up the torch. Andreas Bachmair, a natural health practitioner in Germany, asked people to fill out a form if their kids were unvaccinated, providing information about the overall health of their children. He spread the word on Facebook and on his website, German and English versions.

He got responses on 7,851 participants, the majority of whom are under the age of 2. Of course, a scientist would call his results skewed, because the participants’ parents selected themselves. A well-made study involves random selection and a matched control group.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to look at his results. He compared his unvaccinated group to those in a separate study called KIGGS (http://www.kiggs.de/service/english/index.html) where parents of 17,641 participants, all in Germany, answered very similar questions. Presumably they were all or mostly vaccinated. So there is a control group in a way.

Is autism less prevalent in the unvaccinated? Since autism often doesn’t show up until much later than age 2, his data aren’t helpful with the autism question.

But his data showed levels of allergy, athsma, and ear infections in the unvaccinated that were much lower than the KIGGS group. In the KIGGS group, 4.7%  suffer from asthma, 10.7%  from hayfever and 13.2% from neurodermatitis.
The prevalence of asthma among  unvaccinated children was around 2.5%, hayfever 2.5% and neurodermatitis 7%, Bachmair reported.

Source: http://www.vaccineinjury.info/vaccinations-in-general/health-unvaccinated-children/survey-results-illnesses.html