Background: This study evaluated Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the risk of a diagnosis called disturbance of emotions specific to childhood and adolescence (ED). Thimerosal is an organic-mercury (Hg)-containing compound used in some vaccines.
Methods: A hypothesis-testing prospective, longitudinal case-control study evaluated Hg exposure from Thimerosal in hepatitis B vaccines administered at specific times within the first 6 months of life and its association with medically diagnosed ED (313.xx) (n = 517) in children born between 1991-2000 in comparison to controls (n = 27 491) in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database.
Results: Cases diagnosed with ED were significantly more likely than controls to have received increased Hg exposure within the first month of life (odds ratio (OR) = 1.3384), the first 2 months of life (OR = 1.3367) and the first 6 months of life (OR = 2.37). When the data were separated by gender, similar significant adverse effects were observed for males, but not females. On a per microgram Hg basis, cases diagnosed with ED were significantly more likely than controls to have received increased exposure within the first 6 months of life (OR = 1.025 per microgram Hg).
Conclusions: The results show a significant relationship between Hg exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the subsequent risk of an ED diagnosis.
Keywords: Emotional disturbances; anxiety; ethylmercury; mercury; merthiolate; shyness; social impairment; thiomersal.