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MS, Hepatitis Vaccine Links Found

The so-called experts will use fear and the power of the media to spread the message that vaccines really are good for you and your family. But, if you read my eHealthy News You Can Use with any regularity, you know better than that!

So it shouldn't surprise you to read that people who are immunized for hepatitis B have increased their odds of contracting multiple sclerosis (MS) by a factor of 3, after a group of researchers reviewed data on some 1,500 British patients.

The research team does not know whether the vaccine causes MS in those prone to the disease or speeds it up the process in those destined to have it. However, I was surprised to find out they believe the benefits of being vaccinated against hepatitis might outweigh any risk. Wow!

Here's some more number-crunching: About one in four infected of those with hepatitis B will develop a serious liver disease such as chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis or liver cancer develops after a number of years. In recent years, concerns have been raised that the vaccine may trigger serious autoimmune diseases, especially multiple sclerosis.

These fears were fueled in the 1990s when about 200 people in France developed MS shortly after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine.

Nevertheless, some three years ago, researchers who conducted studies of hepatitis B vaccine and MS incredulously found no link between the two in separate papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

One thing to keep in mind about those earlier studies: Both were partially funded by drug companies!

BBC News September 14, 2004

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