Editorials

Failing health of the United States

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k496 (Published 07 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k496

Re: Failing health of the United States - in childhood

Woolf and Aron are alarmed at the fall in life expectancy for USA citizens, for the second successive year. Their comments, and references to health risks and risk behaviour, are particularly relevant to adults and adolescents.

The situation concerning child health in the USA is no less alarming, maybe more so.

USA childhood mortality is the worst out of twenty OECD countries. (1)

“The US has poorer child health outcomes than other wealthy nations despite greater per capita spending on health for children. “ (2)

USA infant mortality rates (deaths under one year of age per 100 live births) are 71% higher than the comparable country average. (3)

The USA has mandatory childhood vaccination, with a more extensive vaccine schedule than any other country. It mandates Hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth. (4)

Will this expanded schedule prevent child health in the US from becoming even worse than it is already?

The incidence of developmental disabilities is increasing.

The CDC recently revealed that one in thirty six US children were on the autistic spectrum in 2016. (5)

Therein may lie reasons to continually reassess the role of vaccines, and vaccine adjuvants like aluminium, in influencing child health. (6,7)

The suggestion that increased clinical awareness has caused the large documented increase in ASD and developmental disabilities, rather than environmental factors, has been exhaustively explored, and appears disproven. (8)

The difficulties that face anyone wishing to debate these concerns in an open and informed manner were recently emphasised by Professor Christopher Exley, whose paper on aluminium levels in the brains of ASD youngsters (6) has been met with near silence, and abuse. (9)

1 https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/08/health/child-mortality-rates-by-count...

2 https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0767

3 https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/infant-mortality-u-...

4 https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-com...

5 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db291.pdf

6 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X17308763

7 http://www.ageofautism.com/2017/12/autism-1-in-36-asd-rate-set-a-new-rec...?

8 Omsted and Blaxill. Denial. Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.

9 https://www.hippocraticpost.com/ageing/autism-aluminium-din-silence/

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 February 2018
Noel Thomas
read/ part time GP
Bronygarn, Maesteg, Wales, CF34 9AL