MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

A new nationally representative study from the US analysed ∼9000 children from the Child Complementary and Alternative Medicine File of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Adjusting for health services use factors, it examined influenza vaccination odds by ever using major CAM domains: (1) alternative medical systems (AMS; eg, acupuncture); (2) biologically-based therapies, excluding multivitamins/multiminerals (eg, herbal supplements); (3) multivitamins/multiminerals; (4) manipulative and body-based therapies (MBBT; eg, chiropractic manipulation); and (5) mind–body therapies (eg, yoga).

Influenza vaccination uptake was lower among children ever (versus never) using AMS (33% vs 43%; P = .008) or MBBT (35% vs 43%; P = .002) but higher by using multivitamins/multiminerals (45% vs 39%; P < .001). In multivariate analyses, multivitamin/multimineral use lost significance, but children ever (versus never) using any AMS or MBBT had lower uptake (respective odds ratios: 0.61 [95% confidence interval: 0.44–0.85]; and 0.74 [0.58–0.94]).

The authors concluded that children who have ever used certain CAM domains that may require contact with vaccine-hesitant CAM practitioners are vulnerable to lower annual uptake of influenza vaccination. Opportunity exists for US public health, policy, and medical professionals to improve child health by better engaging parents of children using particular domains of CAM and CAM practitioners advising them.

The fact that chiropractors, homeopaths and naturopaths tend to advise against immunisations is fairly well-documented. Unfortunately, this does not just happen in the US but it seems to be a global problem. The results presented here reflect this phenomenon very clearly. I have always categorised it as an indirect risk of alternative medicine and often stated that EVEN IF ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES WERE TOTALLY DEVOID OF RISKS, THE ALTERNATIVE PRACTITIONERS ARE NOT.

14 Responses to CAM use is risk factor for the failure to immunise children

  • “The authors concluded that children who have ever used certain CAM domains that may require contact with vaccine-hesitant CAM practitioners are vulnerable to lower annual uptake of influenza vaccination. Opportunity exists for US public health, policy, and medical professionals to improve child health by better engaging parents of children using particular domains of CAM and CAM practitioners advising them,” quoted Edzard. Apparently he believes patients should be led by their POP’s to a particular conclusion sans giving patients information(pro and con) regarding the specific vaccine which might be recommended. Many MD’s and scientists have experessed significant concerns about vaccines.

    Doctors and Scientists with Concerns About Vaccines

    Shizuo Akira, MD, PhD

    David Amaral, PhD, MIND Institute, UC-Davis

    François-Jérôme Authier, Professor, PhD

    David Ayoub, MD, Radiologist

    Anne-Catherine Bachoud-Levia, PhD

    Toni Bark, MD

    David S. Baskin, PhD

    Denis Bedoret, PhD

    Russell Blaylock, MD, CCN, former clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. and is currently a visiting professor of biology at Belhaven University, Jackson, MI

    Mary Ann Block, DO

    T. Bobrowicz, PhD

    Kenneth Bock, MD

    Marie-Françoise Boissea, PhD

    Subbarao Bondada, PhD

    Jeff Bradstreet, MD

    Pierre Brugierese, PhD

    Julie Buckley, MD

    Thomas Burbacher, MD

    Fabrice Bureau, PhD

    Rashid Buttar, DO, FAAPM, FACAM, FAAIM

    Stephanie F. Cave, MS, MD, FAAFP

    E. Cernichiari, PhD

    Pierre Cesaroa, PhD

    Lakshman Chelvarajan

    T. Chen, PhD

    Xavier Chevalierf, PhD

    Shiv Chopra, MSc, PhD

    Stephanie Christner, DO

    T. Clarkson, PhD

    John Barthelow Classen, MD

    Cevayir Coban, PhD

    Maryline Couettea

    Andy Cutler, PhD (research chemist)

    Jeffrey Dach, MD

    Josep Dalmau, MD, PhD

    Vicky DeBold, PhD, RN

    Jamie Deckoff-Jones, MD

    Christophe J Desmet, PhD

    Mary Catherine DeSoto, PhD

    Richard Deth, PhD

    J.G. Dórea, PhD

    Peter Doshi, PhD Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

    M. Duszczyk, PhD

    Steven Edelson, MD, Director of the Autism Research Institute in San Diego

    (The late) Mayer Eisenstein, MD

    (The late) Frank Engley Jr. PhD

    Håkan Eriksson, PhD

    Christopher Exley, PhD

    Carl Feinstein, MD

    Peter Fletcher, PhD, former Chief Scientific Officer, at the UK Department of Health

    Lisa Freund, PhD

    Paula A. Garay, PhD

    Robert F. Garry, PhD

    Thomas V. Getchell, PhD

    Romain K. Gherardi, Professor, head of the department of Histology, Henri Mondor hospital, Paris, Neuropathologic and Clinical activities at the Neuromuscular Disease Reference Center, and is coordinator of the Department of Neurosciences INSERM

    Beatrice Golomb, PhD, MD

    Jay Gordon, MD

    K.S. Grant, PhD

    John Green, MD

    Boyd Haley, PhD

    Richard Halvorsen, MD

    Diane Harper, MD, MPH, MS

    (The late) Bernadine Healy, MD

    Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Professor of neurology at Harvard Medical

    Laura Hewitson, PhD

    Robert T. Hitlan, PhD

    Amy Holmes, MD

    Brian Hooker, PhD

    Mady Hornig, PhD

    Suzanne Humphries, MD

    Mark Hyman, MD

    Philip Incao, MD

    Ken J Ishii, PhD

    Emmanuel Ittie, PhD

    Dr. Jill James, PhD

    Bryan Jepson, MD

    Archie Kalokerinos, MD

    Jerry Kartzinel, MD

    Matthew S. Kayser, MD

    Marcel Kinsbourne, PhD

    Kouji Kobiyama, PhD

    Sheldon B. Korones, MD

    Arthur Krigsman, MD

    Pierre Lekeux, PhD

    A. Lerner, PhD

    N. Liberato, PhD

    S.X. Lin, PhD

    Andrew D. Livingston, PhD

    Yushu Liu, PhD

    Brian J. Lopresti, PhD

    Kurt M. Lucin, PhD

    Patrick Maisona, PhD

    M. D. Majewska, PhD

    Jennifer Margulia, PhD

    Thomas Marichal, PhD

    N. Scott Mason, PhD

    A. Kimberley McAllister, PhD

    Jaquelyn McCandless, MD

    Susan McCreadie, MD

    (The late) Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD

    (The late) John Menkes, MD, Former head of pediatric neurology at UCLA Medical School. Menkes was also director of pediatric neurology at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition, he was a member of the Forum for Vaccine Safety with the National Institute of Medicine.

    Joseph Mercola, DO

    Claire Mesnil, PhD

    K. Meyza, PhD

    S. Midha, PhD

    P. Mierzejewski, PhD

    Donald W. Miller, Jr. MD

    Richard Moskowitz, MD

    Personally, I believe it is responsible to recommend vaccines(most of them) because I read the science as warranting their use. I also believe that an informed patient should have the right to decide for himself whether or not he submits to vaccinations. Of course, such personal decision-making and responsibility-taking must go both ways: the patient’s doctor should have the right to discharge a patient for not following what he considers to be sound medical advice. Furthermore, a growing number of employers in the US are requiring certain vaccines as a condition of employment.

    • personally, I don’t care a hoot what you believe.

    • Logos-Bios, Joseph Mercola ? Suzanne Humphries ? The Autism Research Institute which tried to cure Autism by using Chelation Therapy ? Oh pleease. I hope you are aware that your list contains some real quacks.

      Quote: ” I also believe that an informed patient should have the right to decide for himself whether or not he submits to vaccinations.”

      This is where the problems begin. It is not easy for a layperson to correctly interpret scientific studies or to correctly assess the qualification of a person. Joseph Mercola as doctor and scientist….. Suzanne Humphries …. I hear quite often that somebody “did research” and when challenged the “research” turns out to be google university. The fact that you mentioned these people in your list proves my point. The decision to vaccinate against infectious diseases or not does not only concern oneself, but the entire community.

      • You make good points, Thomas. Do you think a person should be forced to capitulate to every recommended vaxx in the interest of the public good? Perhaps there are certain vaccines which should be mandated, in your opinion?

    • Your list of names means nothing, especially when it includes anti vaccine, anti science frauds like Mercola. You would not have time to read a legitimate list of doctors, and experts that totally disagree with you. It is hard to understand why you fight proven, science based medicine, which is not perfect, but better than any fake, misleading and magical alternative quackery.

      • Dr. Cox,

        I don’t “fight” science-based medicine. Note that I stated that it is reponsible to recommend vaccines because science warrants their use. My point was that patients should be educated on pros and cons of vaccines and that their personal decisions regarding use shouldn’t be discounted or disrespected.

    • My comment was directed to logos-bios, if that is his/her real name.

  • Another brilliant(?!?) comment by Edzard. Note that nothing of value was included in his missive. BTW, I personally have no desire to understand why he would care about hoots at all.

    Be well.

  • I hope our seasonal trolls will one day learn that copy-pasting enormous text blocks or ludicrously long lists is not only annoyingly insensitive but also counterproductive to their own efforts at intelligence. Especially when a simple link would have been quite sufficient.

    This dull-witted comment really does not warrant a response but there’s a boring game on TV and I had a thought… Let’s see what this overzealous appeal to authority looks like in a numeric perspective…

    L-B seems to have lifted this list of 108 names from a promotion web run by a band of paranoid eccentrics.
    L-B failed at this copy-paste excercise because the original list actually contains 162 names. Most if not all seem to be from or be active in the US. Many people on the list are already dead. Others are certifiably not in full use of their senses. Charlatans like Joe Mercola are listed even if only an ignoramus would call him a sane and trustworthy doctor or scientist.
    Another example of eccentric entries is Rashid Buttar, best known as the purveyor of ‘Buttar’s Butter’, (a quack “chelating” cream) and believes all illnesses are caused by “energetic toxicities,” “psychological/emotional toxicities,” or “spiritual toxicities”. It is hard to imagine more unsound specimens of vaccine-wisdom.
    The list constructors obviously have a rather frivolous view of what constitutes ‘authority’ 😀

    Interestingly there are only 56 “MD”‘s on L-B’s list. 7 more are listed as “Dr” like Mehmet Öz who really should be designated “MD”. His inclusion on this list is rather curious as he has actually and assertively promoted vaccinations . If we assume, probably incorrectly that all seven “Dr”‘s are physicians, (not chiropractors or ND’s) then we have 63 physicians on board the antivaccine cruiser.

    Many of the listed people with MD after their name on this list are known not to be in full control of their mental assets but OK, let’s be very generous and guesstimate that we could find many more, Let’s say 400 doctors (real one’s) who are all mentally sane and genuinely and rationally concerned about the safety of vaccines.
    How would that number relate to the whole?
    There are just over 800.000 physicians active in patient care in the US alone. (Globally there is an estimated 10 to 15 million doctors).
    Let’s say, to be even more generous and presume that our estimated 400 antivaccine-minded and mentally balanced physicians are from US.
    400 divided by 800.000 is 0.0005 or 0.05 percent. That is just about one per 2000.
    Not very convincing, eh? That would mean that only one of every 2000 doctors are rationally worried about vaccinations. Let’s say I am wrong by a factor of 2… that’s still only 1 promille.
    On the other hand the list itself, which is all the constructors have come up with, contains only one per 13.000 american physicians… That’s not much to hang your hat on.

    OK; I admit that this is speculation but it puts the list assembled by the “Greater Good Movie” gang in a rather unflattering perspective.
    ——–
    Iceland won Finland 3-2 in the football (soccer) game that got quite a more exciting as I was writing these idle, unnecessary and probably inaccurate inferences.
    A dramatic game winning goal in the absolutely last second.
    Workday tomorrow… 😀

    • Geir missed, as per usual, my clearly written point: patients should have the opportunity to decide whether they desire vaccinations once they have considered the pros and cons. Note that I encourage patients to be vaccinated because the evidence clearly has demonstrated benefits rlative to most vaccines. I wonder why Geir didn’t consider this before he went into “attack mode”?

      It’s a pity that Geir didn’t realize that I had truncated the list of MD’s and scientists noted in my post for the primary reason that I didn’t want the list to overwhelm the comment box.

      I LMAO when I read Geir’s fabricated numbers from which he calculated bogus probability ratios. Neither he nor I have any way of knowing how many doctors “are rationally worried about vaccinations”(Gier’s words). The brief list I cut-and-pasted regarded professionals who have been outspoken about their concerns about vaccines. How many physicans/scientist who are worried about them, but who have not published their concerns, is unknown. At least Geir admitted his assemblage of mathematical detritus was speculative.

      Be well

      • Internet trolls thrive on always having the last words even if they consists of nothing but irrelevant obfuscations. It’s an addiction of sorts, which they need a regular fix for. Note how this one keeps contradicting itself and building straw-men to keep having something to throw flames at 😀 Interesting phenomenon.

        • Geir described himself precisely in his latest post. I don’t consider his tendency to lob moronic prattle into conversations to be an “interesting phenomenon,” however. It’s quite pathetic, actually.

          Be well, dear Geir

  • There are two pieces in the BBC news feed this morning that involve CAM. Most relevant is this: Warning given over children using complementary therapies
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37572771

    There’s also a report about an actress who used to be in a popular soap. She has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is crowdfunding for “immunotherapy with integrative medicine”. A prime example of the parasitic, cynical nature of CAM: Zoe Tate: Ex-Emmerdale actress has terminal cancer
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37581248

  • Not related to vaccines but on CAM (and it is bad for your kids) as per BBC today
    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37572771

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