Monday, 12 December 2005
AUTISM & ASTHMA article on UPI
"In the alternative-medicine network which Homefirst is part of, there are virtually no cases of childhood asthma, in contrast to the overall Blue Cross rate of childhood asthma which is approximately 10 percent," he said. "At first I thought it was because they (Homefirst's children) were breast-fed, but even among the breast-fed we've had asthma. We have virtually no asthma if you're breast-fed and not vaccinated." Because the diagnosis of asthma is based on emergency-room visits and hospital admissions, Eisenstein said, Homefirst's low rate is hard to dispute. "It's quantifiable -- the definition is not reliant on the doctor's perception of asthma." Several studies have found a risk of asthma from vaccination; others have not. Studies that include never-vaccinated children generally find little or no asthma in that group. Earlier this year Florida pediatrician Dr. Jeff Bradstreet said there is virtually no autism in home-schooling families who decline to vaccinate for religious reasons -- lending credence to Eisenstein's observations. "It's largely non-existent," said Bradstreet, who treats children with autism from around the country. "It's an extremely rare event." Bradstreet has a son whose autism he attributes to a vaccine reaction at 15 months. His daughter has been home-schooled, he describes himself as a "Christian family physician," and he knows many of the leaders in the home-school movement. "There was this whole subculture of folks who went into home-schooling so they would never have to vaccinate their kids," he said. "There's this whole cadre who were never vaccinated for religious reasons." In that subset, he said, "unless they were massively exposed to mercury through lots of amalgams (mercury dental fillings in the mother) and/or big-time fish eating, I've not had a single case."