- The health benefits of male circumcision ‘outweigh the risks 100 to one‘
- Half of uncircumcised men develop a health problem as a result, it is claimed
- It would be ‘unethical’ not to offer it to the parents of all baby boys, the researchers state
By Daily Mail Reporter; April 2014
Circumcision should be offered to babies the same way that vaccinations are, an academic has claimed.
The health benefits of male circumcision far outweigh the risks by more than 100 to one, according to Professor Brian Morris.
His study found that over their lifetime, half of uncircumcised men will contract an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin.
Parents of boys should be offered circumcision for their sons just as they are offered vaccines, a study has claimed
The joint Australian and American research team said their findings add considerable weight to the latest American Academy of Paediatrics policy that supports education and access for infant male circumcision.
Circumcision rates for babies in the U.S. have fallen from a high of 83 per cent in the 1960s to 77 per cent today.
Study leader Brian Morris, Professor Emeritus in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney, who worked with colleagues in Florida and Minnesota, said: ‘There seemed to be two major reasons for the fall.
‘One is a result of demographic changes, with the rise in the Hispanic population.
‘Hispanic families tend to be less familiar with the custom, making them less likely to circumcise their baby boys.
‘The other is the current absence of Medicaid coverage for the poor in 18 U.S. states. In those states, circumcision is 24 per cent lower.’
He added: ‘The new findings now show that infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination and that as such it would be unethical not to routinely offer parents circumcision for their baby boy.
‘Delay puts the child’s health at risk and will usually mean it will never happen.’
He said in infancy, the strongest immediate benefit is protection against urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can damage the kidneys.
Professor Morris and co-investigator Dr Tom Wiswell, of the Centre for Neonatal Care in Orlando, Florida, showed last year that over the lifetime, UTIs affect one in three uncircumcised males.
Professor Morris, with Dr John Krieger, of the Department of Urology at the University of Washington in Seattle, showed that there is no adverse effect of circumcision on sexual function, sensitivity, or pleasure.
This helped dispel one myth perpetuated by opponents of the procedure.
Prof Morris added: ‘Taken together, the new findings should send a strong message to medical practitioners, professional bodies, educators, policy makers, governments, and insurers to promote this safe, simple procedure, best done in infancy under local anaesthesia and to increase access and third party coverage, especially for poor families, who tend to suffer most from foreskin-related diseases.
‘Infant circumcision has, moreover, been shown to be cost saving.’
The study was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.