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CDC: Circumcision Rates for Male Newborns Down From 1979

Fluctuations in circumcision rates during birth hospitalization reflect changing guidance

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Trends in circumcision rates among male newborns performed during birth hospitalization fluctuated from 1979 to 2010, with changes generally reflecting changing guidance on routine circumcision, according to a report published Aug. 22 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maria Owings, Ph.D., and colleagues from the CDC in Atlanta, used data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey to examine the annual rates of newborn circumcision performed during the birth hospitalization for 1979 to 2010.

The authors note that there was a 10 percent decrease during the study period, from 64.5 percent in 1979 to 58.3 percent in 2010. During the study period, the highest rate of newborn circumcision during their birth hospitalization was 64.9 percent in 1981, and the lowest rate was 55.4 percent in 2007. In general, rates declined during the 1980s, increased in the 1990s, and decreased again in the 2000s, reflecting changing guidance on routine newborn circumcision. Circumcision rates were distinct for the four U.S. census regions: rates were generally stable in the Northeast; in the Midwest, fluctuations mirrored national trends; in the South, rates increased until 1998 then decreased; and in the West, rates decreased throughout the study period.

"Rates fluctuated during this period, generally declining during the 1980s, rising in the 1990s, and declining again in the early years of the 21st century," the authors write. "These changes occurred during a period of changing guidance on routine newborn circumcision."

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