U.S. rate for newborn baby circumcisions drops

Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:26 PM
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HYATTSVILLE, Md., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Circumcision of babies in the United States declined 6 percentage points from 64.5 percent to 58.3 percent from 1979 to 2010, federal officials say.

The study, conducted by Maria Owings, Dr. Sayeedha Uddin and Sonja Williams of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found the rates fluctuated -- generally declining during the 1980s, rising in the 1990s and declining again in the early years of the 21st century.

The circumcision rate was influenced by American Academy of Pediatrics' task force reports. During the 1970s, the AAP stated there was no medical need for routine circumcision of the newborn; but in 1989 the AAP revised its position, stating there were potential medical benefits. However, in 1999, an AAP policy statement said despite potential medical benefits of newborn circumcision there was insufficient evidence to recommend the procedure be done routinely.

Data on newborn circumcision performed during birth hospitalization was collected since 1979, the report said. The data did not include circumcisions performed outside the hospital setting or those performed at any age following discharge from the birth hospitalization.

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