The results of an investigation examining the circumcision frequency rate and its effect on the incidence of urinary tract infections in a large, widely dispersed population base during the 10-year period since the 1975 report of the American Academy of Pediatrics Ad Hoc Task Force on Circumcision are reported. Our study population included the 427,698 infants born in all United States Army hospitals, worldwide, from Jan 1, 1975, through Dec 31, 1984. There was an initial plateau in the circumcision frequency rate at approximately 85% during the first 4 years of the study period. In the subsequent 6 years there was a steady, significant decrease (P < .001) of 1.4% to 4.0% per year through 1984, when the circumcision frequency rate reached its nadir of 70.5%. There was a concomitant increase in the total number of urinary tract infections among male infants (P < .02) as the circumcision rate declined. This increase was due to the increase in the overall number of uncircumcised boys (who had a greater than 11-fold increased infection rate compared with circumcised boys). During the first half of the study period, there was a female predominance for urinary tract infections from birth onward. As the number of circumcised boys decreased (with a resultant increase in the total number of boys with infection), the male to female ratio of urinary tract infections during the first 3 months of life reversed, reflecting a movement toward a male predominance for infection in early infancy. This is the first, well-documented report of a decreasing rate of circumcisions performed on the American male population. We conclude that the number of urinary tract infections in male infants, as well as the male to female sex ratio, is affected by the circumcision practices of the population examined.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.