Thimerosal Exposure in Early Life and Neuropsychological Outcomes 7–10 Years Later

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Objective The authors used a public use data set to investigate associations between the receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines and immune globulins early in life and neuropsychological outcomes assessed at 7–10 years. Methods The data were originally created by evaluating 1,047 children ages 7–10 years and their biological mothers. This study developed seven latent neuropsychological factors and regressed them on a comprehensive set of covariates and thimerosal exposure variables. Results The authors found no statistically significant associations between thimerosal exposure from vaccines early in life and six of the seven latent constructs. There was a small, but statistically significant association between early thimerosal exposure and the presence of tics in boys. Conclusions This finding should be interpreted with caution due to limitations in the measurement of tics and the limited biological plausibility regarding a causal relationship.

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