Benefits of Circumcision Outweigh Risks, US Pediatric Group Says
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines saying the health benefits of infant circumcision outweigh the risks of the surgery, but the influential physician's group has fallen short of a universal recommendation of the procedure for all infants, saying that parents should make the final call.
The change was prompted by scientific evidence that suggests circumcision can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in infants and cut the risk of penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and the human papillomavirus or HPV, which causes cervical and other cancers.
In as many as 18 U.S. states, the Medicaid program for the poor has stopped paying for the procedure, a trend some doctors fear could significantly increase U.S. health costs because of increased cases of urinary tract and HIV infections.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics had formerly been on the discouraging side," said Dr. Peter Richel, chief of pediatrics, at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York.
"If, indeed, we can cut down on a greater incidence statically of HIV or HPV, then I am certainly all for that."
Get our latest health and wellness tips and resources.