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Lancet retracts study linking autism and MMR vaccine

February 2nd, 2010 12:00 am by Staff Report

According to WebMD, the  British medical journal The Lancet has retracted a 1998 study suggesting a link between autism and childhood vaccination with the measles-mumps-rubella MMR vaccine.


The Lancet tells WebMD that it has retracted "10 or 15" studies in its 186-year history.  The retraction follows the finding of the U.K. General Medical Council (GMC) that says study leader Andrew Wakefield, MD, and two colleagues acted "dishonestly" and "irresponsibly" in conducing their research.


The Lancet specifically refers to claims made in the paper that the 12 children in the study were consecutive patients that appeared for treatment, when the GMC found that several had been selected especially for the study.  The paper also claimed that the study was approved by the appropriate ethics committee, when the GMC found it had not been.


"We fully retract this paper from the published record," The Lancet editors say in a news release. The retraction means the study will no longer be considered an official part of the scientific literature.


Read the full report at the WebMD Web site.

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