Bogus Studies, Quackery

Bogus Study: Effects of Short-Term Exposure to Air Pollution On Hospital Admissions for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Korean School-Aged Children: a nationwide time-series study

Air pollution is a worldwide problem and it effects every living thing that breathes in air. This can either be oxygen from the air or carbon dioxide. This is not dependent on if a child is autistic or not. This study says that autistic children are effected by air pollution and causes hospital admissions. Aren’t non autistic children effected by air pollution too?

“Autism Spectrum disorder is a heterogeneous neurodevelopemental disease with a wide range of symptoms and severity, characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction, restricted interests, repetitive behaviors. . . Neuroinflammation and systemic inflammation are often accompanied by ASD.”

We are already off to a bad start. They do cite studies that they hope to prove that this is fact, but it is not. It is very closely related to the male brain theory of Simon Baron Cohen. This has been disproven. One drug they say “works” is spirolcatone. It is an anti androgen. It decreases testosterone. I can tell you, I have been on it for polycystic ovaries. I am still autistic.

The study that they cite on neuroinflammation states that “further research is needed to more clearly establish the efficacy and safety of immune modulatory treatments, early data on repurposing medications used to treat systemic inflammation for ASD demonstrate potential benefit and further research is warranted.” This tells everyone that they proved nothing at all.

Due to their theory of air pollution increasing “symptom severity” and ignoring the fact that behavior is communication, here we are.

Study Design

They conducted a time series study on daily counts of hospital admissions for “ASD” for children aged 5-14 between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2015. There are no children hospitalized for autism, as it is not a medical condition. What they probably mean is a meltdown or a psychiatric issue. This usually means they are not well supported at home and/or there is an underlying mental illness.

This data was provided by the National Health Insurance Service, the South Korean Universal Healthcare. It was aggregated according to the 16 regions of the Republic of Korea and sex. The National Health Insurance Service had medical information on all residents of South Korea. This includes those covered by the National Health Insurance or the Medial Aid programme. They were unable any analysis to exclude follow up visits. Already the data is not reliable.

They constructed sex combined time series data daily count dataset from sex aggregated raw data and used sex combined data set for further analysis. They wanted to see who was in the hospital more. AFAB or AMAB.

Air Pollution and Meteorological Factors

They cite past studies reported associations between long term exposure to particulate matter (nitrogen oxide and ozone) to “ASD development.” They claim this when it has been proven time and time again that autism is genetic.

The study that they cite it’s a literary review that looked at past correlations between air pollution and brain development. There is increased air pollution on this planet due to factories, internal combustion engine vehicles, etc. This review is a review of the epidemiological literature on the association between outdoor air pollution and neuropsycholical development in children. This is based off the idea that people “develop” autism. No, it is genetic. This result has been replicated by numerous studies.

CORRELATION DOES NOT MEAN CAUSATION.

Results

The data that was used is not available for people to review. The data availability statement:

“Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The datasets used in this study are not publicly available but can be provided on reusable reasonable request after the approval al of the National Health Insurance Service of the Republic of Korea.”

How convenient that the data used to say we are autistic because of air pollution is not readily available.

The researchers conclude that the reduction of air pollution exposure should be considered for “ASD symptom management” with important implications for the quality of life and economic costs.

sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588818/

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/12/9/e058286#ref-18

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1071909120300474?via%3Dihub

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30184549/

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/492225

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