Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children with Older Siblings With and Without Autism

Date Posted : April 15, 2015


Jain A, Marshall J, Buikema A, Bancroft T, Kelly JP, Newschaffer CJ. Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism. JAMA. 2015;313(15):1534-1540.

Findings from a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services examining the link between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine have been published in the April 21, 2015 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study team, led by Anjali Jain, M.D., of The Lewin Group, examined ASD occurrence by MMR vaccine status in a large sample of U.S. children who have older siblings with and without ASD. The researchers used an administrative claims database associated with a large commercial health plan. Participants included children continuously enrolled in the health plan from birth to at least 5 years of age during 2001-2012 who also had an older sibling continuously enrolled for at least 6 months between 1997 and 2012. The study found that receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with an increased risk of  ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD, findings that indicate no harmful association between receipt of MMR vaccine and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD. 

The full text of the article is available for free on the JAMA website.