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Circumcision remains common

January 21, 2008|From Times wire reports

More than half of newborn boys, or 1.2 million infants, were circumcised in 2005, making it the third most common inpatient surgery performed in the U.S., according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Rates were highest in the Midwest, where 75% of boys were circumcised. The lowest rates were in the West, where only 31% of boys underwent the procedure to remove the foreskin of the penis.

The national circumcision rate has stayed relatively unchanged for a decade after peaking at 65% in 1980, the HHS said in a report. Circumcision is often performed for religious or cultural reasons, although some organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics say the operation isn't medically necessary.

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