Adverse effects (AEs) from male circumcision (MC) are rare, but increase with age at the procedure, according to a study published in online in JAMA Pediatrics.
Charbel El Bcheraoui, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the incidence rate of 41 MC-associated AEs using SDI Health, a large administrative claims data set.
The researchers found that 93 percent of the 1,400,920 circumcisions occurred in newborns. Sixteen of 41 possible MC AEs were probable. Total MC AEs had an incidence of slightly less than 0.5 percent, with rates of potentially serious MC AEs ranging from 0.76 per million MCs for stricture of male genital organs to 703.23 per million MCs for repair of incomplete circumcision.
The incidences of probable AEs were approximately 20-fold and 10-fold greater for males circumcised at age 1 to 9 years and at 10 years or older, respectively, compared to boys circumcised at younger than 1 year.
“Male circumcision had a low incidence of AEs overall, especially if the procedure was performed during the first year of life, but rose 10-fold to 20-fold when performed after infancy,” the authors write.