The increasing incidence of newborn circumcision: data from the nationwide inpatient sample

J Urol. 2005 Mar;173(3):978-81. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000145758.80937.7d.


Purpose: Newborn circumcision is the most common surgical procedure in the United States, yet there are few contemporary data regarding circumcision rates or the factors that affect these rates. The goal of this study was to determine trends in the national rate of newborn circumcision between 1988 and 2000, and to evaluate patient and hospital factors associated with newborn circumcision.

Materials and methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample provides information on 5 million to 7 million inpatient stays per year. Newborn male hospitalizations were selected, and those newborns who underwent circumcision were identified using International Classification of Disease-9 procedure codes. Weighted national estimates of circumcision rates were calculated, and patient and hospital characteristics were examined to identify factors associated with newborn circumcision.

Results: We identified 4,657,402 newborn male hospitalizations during a 13-year period. Circumcision rates increased significantly with time-48.3% of newborn males underwent circumcision in 1988 to 1991 vs 61.1% in 1997 to 2000 (p <0.0001). In multivariate regression analysis the odds of circumcision increased by 6.8% per year during the study period (p <0.0001). Patient characteristics associated with increased odds of circumcision in the multivariate model included private insurance (p <0.0001), higher socioeconomic status (p <0.0001), fewer co-morbid diagnoses (p <0.0001) and black race (p <0.0001). Hospital factors associated with increased odds of circumcision included Northeast or Midwest geographic region and rural location.

Conclusions: There was a significant increase in the rate of newborn circumcision between 1988 and 2000. The increase may be related to increased recognition of the potential medical benefits of circumcision. However, the increase may also result in a higher incidence of surgical complications of circumcision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • United States