Routine neonatal circumcision: a cost-utility analysis

Med Decis Making. 1991 Oct-Dec;11(4):282-93. doi: 10.1177/0272989X9101100406.


A cost-utility analysis was performed to evaluate the relative importance of each of the various elements in the current circumcision debate. Elements used in the analysis included the cost of the procedure, the pain associated with the procedure, the risk of urinary tract infections, and the risk of penile cancer. The net, discounted lifetime dollar cost of routine circumcision is $102 per person, while the net, discounted lifetime health cost is 14 hours of healthy life. These results suggest that the financial and medical advantages and disadvantages of routine neonatal circumcision cancel each other and that factors other than cost or health outcomes must be used in decision making.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Circumcision, Male / adverse effects
  • Circumcision, Male / economics*
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fees and Charges
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Policy / economics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Penile Neoplasms / economics
  • Penile Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Penile Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Tract Infections / economics
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control