Circumcision could raise the risk of autism

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Circumcision1

Author: Debbie Nicholson

Approximately
55
percent
to
65
percent
of
all
newborn
boys
are
circumcised
in
the
United
States
each
year.
Routine
circumcision
is
usually
performed
during
the
first
10
days
(often
within
the
first
48
hours),
either
in
the
hospital
or,
for
some
religious
ritual
circumcisions,
at
home.

Conclusions
are
based
on
converging
observations
in
animal,
clinical
and
ecological
studies,
MD,
PhD,
DSc,
consultant
and
senior
investigator
conducting
epidemiological
research
at
Statens
Serum
Institute.
 Adjunct
professor
of
sexual
health
epidemiology
at
Aalborg
University
and
lead
author
of
this
study
along
with,
Center
for
Sexology
Research,
Aalborg
University,
hypothesized
a
possible
impact
of
ritual
circumcision
on
the
subsequent
risk
of
autism
spectrum
disorder
(ASD)
in
young
boys.

This
study
included
342,877
boys
born
between
1994
and
2003
and
followed
through
the
age
of
nine,
and
during
the
course
of
the
study.

During
the
course
of
the
study
4.986
cases
of
autism
were
diagnosed.
The
study
showed
that
regardless
of
cultural
background,
circumcised
boys
were
more
likely
to
develop
autism.
Being
circumcised
before
age
10
was
associated
with
a
46
percent
increased
risk
but
if
circumcision
took
place
before
the
age
of
five
the
risk
doubled.

Circumcised
boys
in
non-Muslim
families
were
also
more
likely
to
develop

hyperkinetic
disorder

by
81
percent.

Dr.
Frisch
stated
“Our
investigation
was
prompted
by
the
combination
of
recent
animal
findings
linking
a
single
painful
injury
to
lifelong
deficits
in
stress
response
and
a
study
showing
a
strong,
positive
correlation
between
a
country’s
neonatal
male
circumcision
rate
and
its
prevalence
of
ASD
in
boys.”

Today
it
is
considered
a
medically
unacceptable
practice
to
circumcise
boys
without
proper
pain
relief
but
none
of
the
most
common
interventions
used
to
reduce
circumcision
pain
completely
eliminates
it.
 Some
boys
will
endure
intensely
painful
circumcisions.
Researchers
say
that
the
pain
associated
with
circumcision
in
very
young
babies
is
likely
to
be
more
severe
during
the
operation
and
post-operatively.

Painful
experiences
in
neonates
have
been
shown
in
animal
and
human
studies
to
be
associated
with
long-term
alterations
in
pain
perception,
a
characteristic
often
encountered
among
children
with
ASD.

“Possible
mechanisms
linking
early
life
pain
and
stress
to
an
increased
risk
of
neurodevelopmental,
behavioral
or
psychological
problems
in
later
life
remain
incompletely
conceptualized,”
said
Dr.
Frisch,
who
continued,
“Given
the
widespread
practice
of
non-therapeutic
circumcision
in
infancy
and
childhood
around
the
world,
our
findings
should
prompt
other
researchers
to
examine
the
possibility
that
circumcision
trauma
in
infancy
or
early
childhood
might
carry
an
increased
risk
of
serious
neurodevelopmental
and
psychological
consequences.”

There
are
experts,
however,
that
are
urging
caution
about
this
study.

Professor
Jeremy
Turk,
MD,
BSc
(Hons),
FRCPsych,
FRCPCH,
DCH,
Consultant
Child
and
Adolescent
Psychiatrist
in
the
Trust’s
Behavioural
Phenotype
Learning
Disabilities
Service
and
a
Professor
of
Developmental
Psychiatry
at
the
Institute
of
Psychiatry,
related
to
the

Daily
Mail

that
while
the
findings
of
the
study
were
“interesting,”
they
needed
to
be
“considered
carefully.”

“This
is
not
a
causal
study,
but
instead
compares
data
sets
and
looks
for
correlations.
While
this
is
a
valid
way
of
doing
a
study,
it
means
that
we
must
be
careful
about
any
implications,”
he
said.
“For
example,
many
cases
of
autism
are
missed
until
children
are
older
and
as
there
are
relatively
few
cases
of
autism
this
could
easily
skew
the
data.”
“Furthermore,
there
are
many
potentially
confounding
variables
which
could
explain
raised
ASD
rates,
which
the
authors
do
not
explore
or
account
for.”

“Finally,
I
have
some
issues
with
the
premise
in
that
their
speculations
regarding
early
pain
as
a
cause
of
autism
are,
to
say
the
least,
highly
speculative.”

Dr.
Rosa
Hoekstra,
PhD,
a
lecturer
in
The
Open
University’s
Science
faculty,
commented
to
the
Daily
Mail,
“I
think
this
is
an
extremely
speculative
study.”
She
related
that
the
study
is
based
on
registered
data,
“and
takes
a
registered
autism
diagnosis
at
face
value,
without
considering
cultural
or
social
factors
affecting
the
likelihood
of
an
(early)
autism
diagnosis.
Even
in
a
high
income
country
like
Denmark,
not
all
children
with
autism
are
detected
and
given
a
suitable
autism
diagnosis
at
an
early
age.”

Professor
McConway,
professor
of
applied
statistics
also
with
the
Open
University
adds
“This
study
raises
an
interesting
question,
but
one
that
cannot
be
fully
answered
with
these
data.”

Citations

Ritual
circumcision
and
risk
of
autism
spectrum
disorder
in
0-
to
9-year-old
boys:
national
cohort
study
in
Denmark.
Journal
of
the
Royal
Society
of
Medicine,
2015;

DOI:
10.1177/0141076814565942


This
article
is
reposted
with
the
author’s
permission
from
 examiner.com.

Original Story on AVFM
These stories are from AVoiceForMen.com.
(Changing the cultural narrative)

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