Thimerosal exposure and disturbance of emotions specific to childhood and adolescence: A case-control study in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database

Brain Inj. 2017;31(2):272-278. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2016.1250950. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affective Symptoms / chemically induced*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Thimerosal / adverse effects*
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*

Substances

  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Vaccines
  • Thimerosal