Study: Declining Rates Of Circumcisions Among Infants Could Drive Up Health Costs

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Johns Hopkins University Campus

The Johns Hopkins University Campus (Photo credit: Let Ideas Compete)

Topics: Delivery of Care, Health Costs, Public Health

Aug 21, 2012

Johns Hopkins researchers examine the 20-year decline in male circumcision rates and assert it could raise medical costs related to sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems.

Los Angeles Times: As Circumcision Declines, Health Costs Will Go Up, Study Projects
Declining rates of circumcision among infants will translate into billions of dollars of unnecessary medical costs in the U.S. as these boys grow up and become sexually active men, researchers at Johns Hopkins University warned (Brown, 8/21).

Baltimore Sun: Johns Hopkins Researchers Say Decline In Circumcisions Costing The Health Care System Billions
A 20-year decline in male circumcision has cost the country $2 billion in medical costs that could have been prevented, Johns Hopkins researchers say in a study released Monday. In what is believed to be the first look at the economic impact of male circumcision on the health care system, the Hopkins scientists say that boys who are not circumcised are more prone to sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems over a lifetime that are costly to treat. “The economic evidence is backing up what we already know medically,” said Dr. Aaron Tobian, a Hopkins health epidemiologist and pathologist and senior researcher on the study (Walker, 8/20).

Bloomberg: Declining Circumcision Rates In U.S. Raise Disease Risk
Infant boys in the U.S. are less likely to get circumcised now than in years past, a trend that leaves them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and may add billions of dollars to health-care costs, Johns Hopkins University researchers said.  About 55 percent of the 2 million males born each year in America are circumcised, a decrease from 79 percent in the 1980s, according to the report in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The procedure, which removes the foreskin from the tip of the penis where bacteria and viruses accumulate, is linked to fewer cases of HIV, herpes, genital warts and genital cancers among men and their sexual partners (Cortez, 8/20).

Reuters: As Circumcision Rates Drop, Costs Increase: Study
As gaps in insurance coverage lead to fewer male babies being circumcised in the United States, related health costs could end up increasing by millions of dollars every year, a new study suggests. Using a model based on studies of the long-term health effects of circumcision, researchers predicted that the rate of urinary tract infections in male babies would more than double — and the rate of HIV infections in men increase by 12 percent — if only one in ten male newborns was circumcised nationwide (Pittman, 8/20).

Medpage Today: Health Costs May Rise With Drop In Circumcisions
One of the factors behind the fall (in numbers of boys undergoing circumcisions), the researchers noted, is that states are increasingly eliminating Medicaid coverage for circumcision; 18 no longer cover the procedure and others may follow suit (Smith, 8/20).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s