The protection offered by circumcision against urinary tract infections (UTIs) in infancy has been well documented and emphasized in the most recent recommendations for circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A recent meta-analysis published in The Journal of Urology (2013;189:2118-2124) by Brian J. Morris, DSc, and Thomas E. Wiswell, MD, of the University of Sydney in Australia, showed that the protective effect of circumcision lasts throughout a lifetime. Uncircumcised infants had a nearly 10-fold increased relative risk of UTIs compared with circumcised infants. The lifetime risk of UTI was 32% in uncircumcised males and only 8.8% in circumcised males.

Considering the cost of hospitalization for UTIs and the potential for renal scarring associated with severe infections, these findings suggest that the benefits of circumcision in preventing infection are comparable the effects of other public health measures such as viral vaccines.

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