THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- There is no link between autism and immunizations, says a Mayo Clinic study in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Over the past two decades there have been suggestions about a possible connection between increasing rates of autism and immunization.
However, this study found no such link and suggests that the increase in autism may be due to a number of factors. These include improved awareness about autism, changes in diagnostic criteria and availability of services for children with autism.
The Mayo Clinic team did not find a link between environmental factors and autism.
"This study is the first to measure the incidence -- the occurrence of new cases -- of autism by applying consistent, contemporary criteria for autism to a specific population over a long period of time," study co-author Dr. William Barbaresi, a developmental pediatrician, said in a prepared statement.
"In doing so, the study accounts for improvements in the diagnostic criteria for autism, the medical community's improved understanding of this disease and changes in federal special education laws," Barbaresi said.
For this study, he and his colleagues reviewed data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a database of all inpatient and outpatient records in Olmsted County, Minn.
The Nemours Foundation has more about autism.