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US Newborn Circumcision Rate Dropped 10 Percent Between 1979 and 2010

First Posted: Aug 22, 2013 12:16 PM EDT
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Recent statistics show that the national rate for newborn circumcision fell by 10 percent between 1979 and 2010.

Researchers looked at data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey in order to determine both national and regional rates of newborn circumcision between 1979 and 2010. The National Hospital Discharge Survey is used in order to properly design and produce unbiased regional and national estimates via hospital use.

Findings showed that newborn circumcision declined nationally from approximately 64.5 percent to 58.3 percent, according to the study. Yet study authors note that these statistics only include circumcisions that were performed in hospitals. Those performed outside of hospitals or later in life were not included.

Yet circumcision decline was not steady throughout the entire period. For instance, the findings show that the rates decline in the 1980s and rose again in the 1990s. However, after 2000, it declined again.

According to Maria Owings, PhD, from the Division of Health Care Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and colleagues, they also found that that circumcision rates varied depending on region, with the greatest changes occurring in the West at a decreased rate of 63.9 percent in 1979 to 40.2 percent in 2010. 

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