Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AAP technical paper on circumcision called "epidemiologically incompetent and an embarrassment to the AAP."

Among many basic errors of epidemiology, the authors do not even understand how to calculate Number Needed to Treat. (From p. e767: "Given that the risk of UTI among this population is approximately 1%, the number needed to circumcise to prevent UTI is approximately 100.")
Two of the referenced papers from which this figure was derived, written by investigators who do understand how to calculate NNT, found respectively that 111 and 195 circumcisions were needed to prevent one UTI. These data were reported in the abstracts.
Finally, for the authors to say "Most available data were published before 1995 and consistently show an association between the lack of circumcision and increased risk of UTI" and then <i>arbitrarily exclude all data prior to 1995</i> is an unforgiveable design flaw.
This paper is epidemiologically incompetent and an embarrassment to the AAP.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

Freedom of Information requests finds dozens of life threatening injuries from circumcision from one hospital

" In 2011 alone, nearly a dozen infant boys had to be treated for “life threatening haemorrhage, shock or sepsis” as a result of their non-therapeutic circumcisions at a single children’s hospital in Birmingham.[96] This information was made public due to a specific freedom of information request, and so would not otherwise have been reported. It is clear, then, that we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg in terms of risks and complications " = Ref : [96] Checketts, R. (2012). Response to freedom of information request, FOI/0742. Birmingham Children’s Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust. Available at

The above quote was taken from the Skeptic Magazine article found here: