Circumcision can increase autism, research suggests.

Circumcision before the age of five can double a boy’s risk of developing autism, controversial research suggests.
Scientists believe the finding may be linked to stress caused by the pain of the procedure.
The study of more than 340,000 boys in Denmark found that circumcision raised the overall chances of an autism spectrum disorder before the age of 10 by 46 per cent.
But if circumcision took place before the age of five it doubled the risk.
Circumcision also appeared to increase the likelihood of boys from non-Muslim families developing hyperactivity disorder.

The research, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, examined more than 340,000 boys born in Denmark between 1994 and 2003.
At the age of nine, their health was tracked – and almost 5,000 cases of ASD were diagnosed.
Professor Morten Frisch of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, who led the research, said: ‘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.

Professor Frisch said: ‘Given the widespread practice of 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.
However experts have urged caution over the findings.
Professor Jeremy Turk, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Southwark Child & Adolescent Mental Health Neurodevelopmental Service, said: ‘The findings of this research, while interesting, need to be considered carefully – one cannot draw very strong conclusions from the data.

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