Incidence of neonatal circumcision in Atlanta, 1985-1986

South Med J. 1995 Apr;88(4):411-5. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199504000-00005.


We reviewed Atlanta area hospital records to determine the following regarding neonatal circumcision: incidence in July 1985; incidence after publicized serious complications of circumcision in August 1985; medical record documentation; and the complication rate. After stratified sampling from hospital birth logs, we abstracted information from medical charts and calculated weighted estimates and P values. The circumcision incidence was 89.3% in July 1985, 87.5% in September 1985, and 84.3% in September 1986. Circumcision was recorded on the medical record face sheet for 84.3% of circumcised boys. The complication rate was 3.1%; no serious complications were recorded. We conclude the following: circumcision incidence was high during the study period; publicity regarding adverse outcomes may have decreased the subsequent incidence of the procedure; hospital discharge data, which rely on medical record face sheet information, underestimate the true incidence of neonatal circumcision; and neonatal circumcision is usually safe, but serious complications may occur.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Male / adverse effects
  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Hospital Bed Capacity
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic Factors