[Lack of association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism]

Przegl Epidemiol. 2011;65(3):491-5.
[Article in Polish]


In Poland, administered childhood vaccines still contain thimerosal as a preservative. Despite the access to mercury free formulas, the most of children are still vaccinated by thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCV) owing to economical reasons. That circumstances caused the rising discussion on potential harmful influence of TCVs on children health. The objective of this analysis was to determine an association of TCVs exposure with the risk of autism. Study population included 96 cases diagnosed with childhood or atypical autism and 192 controls matched individually by year of birth, gender, and physician's practice. Data on autism diagnose and vaccination history were from GPs. Data on the other possible autism risk factors were collected from mothers. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess the risk of autism due to TCVs exposure. No significant association was found between TCVs exposure and autism. After adjusting to potential confounders, odds ratios of the risk of autism developing for infants vaccinated with TCVs were 1.52 (95% CI: 0.29-11.11) for doses 12.5-87.5 microg, 2.78 (95% CI: 0.29-11.11) for 100-137.5 microg and 1.97 (95% CI: 0.37-18.95) for these exposed > or = 150 microg. Our study revealed no evidence of an association between TCVs and autism.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / chemically induced*
  • Autistic Disorder / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data
  • Developmental Disabilities / chemically induced
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Ethylmercury Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Ethylmercury Compounds / chemistry
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Thimerosal / adverse effects*
  • Thimerosal / chemistry
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Vaccines / chemistry


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Ethylmercury Compounds
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Vaccines
  • Thimerosal