Tags: circumcision | health | cost

Circumcision Trend Could Boost Health Costs

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:16 AM

Declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision could add more than $4.4 billion in healthcare costs if rates over the next decade drop to levels now seen in Europe, according to a new analysis by disease specialists and economists at Johns Hopkins University.
In a report published online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the Johns Hopkins team said the increased expenses will stem from new cases and higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and related cancers among uncircumcised men and their female partners.
The experts said the study is the first to account for increased rates of diseases associated with lower rates of male circumcision, including HIV/AIDS, herpes and genital warts, as well as cervical and penile cancers.
Previous research has focused mostly on HIV, whose risk of infection is decreased by male circumcision, which hinders the buildup of bacteria and viruses.
"Our economic evidence is backing up what our medical evidence has already shown to be perfectly clear," said lead researcher Dr. Aaron Tobian, with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "There are health benefits to infant male circumcision in guarding against illness and disease, and declining male circumcision rates come at a severe price, not just in human suffering, but in billions of health care dollars as well."
Tobian said 55 percent of the 2 million males born each year in the United States are circumcised, a decline from 79 percent in the 1970s and 1980s. Rates in Europe average only 10 percent. The 20-year decline in American circumcisions has already cost the nation upwards of $2 billion, Tobian and his colleagues estimate.
According to the team's analysis, if U.S. circumcision rates drop to European rates, there would a 12 percent increase in men infected with HIV, a 29 percent rise in human papillomavirus cases, a 19 percent spike in herpes simplex virus infections, and a 211 percent jump in urinary tract infections.

© HealthDay

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Declining rates of circumcision could add $4.4 billion in infectious disease care costs over the next decade.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:16 AM
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