POSTED: Monday, August 20, 2012 - 5:37pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 9:47am
In the 1970's and 80's, nearly 80 percent of newborn boys in the U.S. were circumcised.
Now, the number stands at about half as parents struggle with the decision to have their boys circumcised and funding for the procedure has been eliminated from many government insurance programs.
Experts are concerned because a new study finds lower circumcision rates may lead to higher medical costs.
Clinical trials have shown men who are not circumcised have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
"If our rates continue to decrease to those seen in Europe at approximately 10%, our financial expenditures will exceed 4.4 billion dollars, this is approximately $313 per every missed procedure, or missed male circumcision," said Aaron Tobian, M.D., Ph.D.
Experts say the out-of-pocket costs of circumcision are around $250. The American Academy of Pediatrics has not recommended routine circumcision for infant boys -- but is said to be revising their stance on the issue later this month.