Vaxxed vs. unvaxxed study - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I mentioned this is another thread awhile back, but thought I would post it a little more prominently for anyone passing through. There is a German study that compared vaccinated vs unvaccinated children. Their sample for unvaccinated children was small so they did not have enough statistical power to look for things like autism reliably, but they did examine several other conditions like asthma, ADHD, rhinitis, eczema, etc and found difference in occurence between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. They also looked at the rates of non vaccine preventable infections as a way to expand if vaccinated children had compromised immune systems and found no difference. In fact, the only difference they found between the two groups was that unvaccinated children were much more likely to contract a vaccine preventable disease.

Not a perfect study,but a piece of the puzzle.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057555/
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#2 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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#3 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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The unvaxed sample was way too small. It is not the American vaccination schedule. I've read about non-vaxing parents in Germany/Austria being down with measles parties to try to get their kids exposed.

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#4 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It really wasn't too small for the conclusions that they drew and the conditions that they looked at. I don't see what the measles parties have to do with anything.

So it's not our vaccination schedule, does that mean it has no value?
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#5 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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It really wasn't too small for the conclusions that they drew and the conditions that they looked at.

 

"Because of the low proportion of unvaccinated persons in the population, the numbers even in the large KiGGS study are small, so that statistical evaluation—especially subgroup analyses—is hindered by small case numbers."

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#6 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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well, if unvaxed kids are getting purposely exposed to cp, measles, what have you, of course they will have more vpd. 

 

Not no value, but I guess, just not applicable?

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#7 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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" Lifetime prevalence calculations for pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella were based on the question: “Has your child ever had … ?” The parent questionnaire also collected data on the following infections: cold/flu-like infection, tonsillitis, herpesvirus infection, bronchitis (not when asthma was present), gastrointestinal infection, cystitis and/or urethritis, purulent conjunctivitis (bacterial conjunctivitis). The parents of children up to age 11 years were also asked whether their child had ever had croup. From these data, the median number of infections for the preceding year was calculated for every study subject."

 

So, the study compiled anecdotes, which you put no stock in.  Either anecdotes are valuable or not - you can't have it both ways.

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#8 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:38 PM
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No. These are not anecdotes. They are data. An anecdote is little story someone tells about something that happened to someone. This was a scientific study, in which many people were asked the exact same questions in the same way, and their responses are coded according to the same rules and compiled, and then statistical tests are run on them.

A collection of survey data can be analyzed statistically, while a collection of anecdotes usually can't. A collection of anecdotes on the topic would not have been collected in the same way or contain the same information.

That said, the only statistically significant results in the study (95% CI) are that unvaxed kids have more VPDs, which is pretty obvious. It is possible that there is a difference between the two groups as far as the incidence of other diseases, but this research doesn't show a significantly significant difference.

 
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#9 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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No. These are not anecdotes. They are data. An anecdote is little story someone tells about something that happened to someone. 

 

an·ec·dote

  [an-ik-doht]  Show IPA
noun, plural an·ec·dotes or, for 2, an·ec·do·ta [an-ik-doh-tuh]  Show IPA.
1.
a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
2.
a short, obscure historical or biographical account.

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#10 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It really wasn't too small for the conclusions that they drew and the conditions that they looked at.

 

"Because of the low proportion of unvaccinated persons in the population, the numbers even in the large KiGGS study are small, so that statistical evaluation—especially subgroup analyses—is hindered by small case numbers."


Right, they didn't do the analyses that their sample was too small for, but the sample was just fine for the analyses they did do and the conclusions they actually drew.
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#11 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I explained what I see as the difference between anecdotes and data in the anecdote thread already. You're like the fifth person to make a comment to me about anecdotes since I posted in there. What's up with that?
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#12 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:52 PM
 
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I explained what I see as the difference between anecdotes and data in the anecdote thread already. You're like the fifth person to make a comment to me about anecdotes since I posted in there. What's up with that?

 

I'm just identifying a flaw with this study, which you posted.  You have critiqued studies others have posted as well.


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#13 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh ok, it seemed for a second like you were trying to pick a fight by throwing something I had said back in my face. Certainly feel free to pick nits with the study.
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#14 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:10 PM
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an·ec·dote



   [an-ik-doht
]  Show IPA




noun, 
plural 
an·ec·dotes 
or, for 2, 
an·ec·do·ta 
[an-ik-doh-tuh

]  Show IPA


.
1.

a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.


2.

a short, obscure historical or biographical account.




Right. This proves my point. An anecdote is a little account of an event. A data point is a piece of information collected in a scientifically rigorous way.

 
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#15 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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it looks like all the data points were based on parent recollection and admittance.

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#16 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:24 PM
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it looks like all the data points were based on parent recollection and admittance.

Right - it's a retrospective study, versus a prospective study. With this number of subjects, it would be much harder to do it the other way, and take more time. Is there some reason to suspect that the recollections about childhood illnesses of parents who vaxed would be better or worse than those of parents who didn't? Maybe - and someone could also study this, I suppose. This study began by assuming that vaccination status of the kids would not affect recollection of childhood illnesses, and some people would consider that a flaw.

I wanted to clarify, too, that anecdotes are also data - but they're a different kind of data, and they can't be subjected to the same kinds of statistical analysis. Both kinds of data - qualitative and quantitative - are useful tools for different kinds of research. The reverse isn't true, though - all anecdotes are data, but all data are not anecdotes.

 
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#17 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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I don't think the study shows anything that most people don't already know.  An unvaxxed child generally will be more likely to contract a vaccine preventable disease.

 

What I would be interested in is a study that shows the other "symptoms".  You know the things people like to claim are directly related to vaccinations. 

 

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#18 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It did investigate several of those things and found no difference between the two groups.
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#19 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 07:55 PM
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It did investigate several of those things and found no difference between the two groups.

But the confidence intervals are huge, because the unvaxed group was so small... so it's possible that there was a difference that this research couldn't detect because of the small sample size. Look at the graphs...

 
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#20 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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It would be beneficial to find a larger research size.

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#21 of 71 Old 05-19-2012, 08:29 PM
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This study also didn't differentiate between kids who were fully vaxed according to the (German) schedule and kids who had received one inoculation against one disease... anyone who had been vaccinated at all was lumped together. That could also have made a difference - it might be interesting to exclude all kids who were partially vaxed and/or vaxed on a delayed schedule and then run the same statistical tests...
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#22 of 71 Old 05-20-2012, 12:10 AM
 
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I'm just identifying a flaw with this study, which you posted.  You have critiqued studies others have posted as well.

 

 

Are you just following her around now?  I'd honestly like to know more about this study and similar studies. 

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#23 of 71 Old 05-20-2012, 12:25 AM
 
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Are you just following her around now?  I'd honestly like to know more about this study and similar studies. 

 

No.  I read through the link and found serious flaws.


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#24 of 71 Old 05-20-2012, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup, the small sizes do mean big intervals and yes it is possible the sizes are just too small to detect an effect (that's called the power of a test, in general bigger sample = more power). These results are far from conclusive, just one more thing to weigh.

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#26 of 71 Old 05-20-2012, 11:04 AM
 
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Are you just following her around now? 

 I am...but not in a creepy way.  smile.gif    These threads have been really interesting and informative.


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#27 of 71 Old 05-21-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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It's an interesting study, because at the very least it puts an upper limit on the differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. That the unvaxed had more VPD was detectable because it was such a large effect. Other effects were not seen - so you can say from that "oh well they need a bigger sample" and that is true, but you can also take from that that there cannot be a huge difference between the two groups - because if there were it would have been found. 

 

Take Figure 3 for example - that looks at the rate of "atopic disorders" ("Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis", excema and asthama) between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The biggest possible difference seems to be in the age range 11-17, where 1560 of the vaccinated children in the sample had these compared to 8 unvaccinated. Relative to the full sample size that was 30+/-1% of the vaccinated children, and 20+/-12% of the unvaccinated. If vaccinated children were twice as likely as unvaccinated to get these things - then you'd expect 40+/-1% of the vaccinated children to have them - and that would be detectable compared to 20% of unvaccinated. So that tells me that vaccinated children cannot be twice as likely to get these things. Do you see what I mean?  

 

I think that's a great illustration of what differences you can find in small samples. I work in the physical sciences, but this is similar maths to the kinds of studies I do there. :) 


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#28 of 71 Old 05-21-2012, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good way to put it. It doesn't rule the possibility out, but it gives us a sense of at least how big (or small) the effect might be.
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#29 of 71 Old 05-21-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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Thanks. And thanks for posting the article. Very interesting. 


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#30 of 71 Old 05-21-2012, 12:45 PM
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Take Figure 3 for example - that looks at the rate of "atopic disorders" ("Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis
", excema and asthama) between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The biggest possible difference seems to be in the age range 11-17, where 1560 of the vaccinated children in the sample had these compared to 8 unvaccinated. Relative to the full sample size that was 30+/-1% of the vaccinated children, and 20+/-12% of the unvaccinated. If vaccinated children were twice as likely as unvaccinated to get these things - then you'd expect 40+/-1% of the vaccinated children to have them - and that would be detectable compared to 20% of unvaccinated. So that tells me that vaccinated children cannot be twice as likely to get these things. Do you see what I mean?  
Sure they can be. It's not even that unlikely. The confidence intervals mean that 95% of the time - 19 times out of 20 - the actual, true incidence of those illnesses is somewhere between 29 and 31% of the vaxed kids and between 8 and 32% of the unvaxed kids. The real incidence, though, is only one of those numbers. So, possibly, the true incidence could be 10% for the unvaxed kids - with an n of 8, that might only mean that one extra kid got the disease (or his parents misremembered). That's not much of a stretch, and that would mean that unvaxed kids were only a third as likely to get the disease.

Or, because one in twenty times the actual number will be outside the confidence interval, maybe the actual incidence is 35% of unvaxed kids... or maybe parents who don't vax are less likely to honestly answer these questions, or to remember their children's disease history. It's important, I think, to look critically at all studies - lots of stuff out there, even in peer-reviewed journals, is just not well done - and to understand exactly what the numbers mean.

 
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