A mohel doctor is surround by other rabbis and relatives as he holds a boy at his circumcision.
A mohel is surround by other rabbis and relatives as he holds a boy at his circumcision. Photo by AP
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An Australian-American team of researchers recommended circumcising infant males to avoid diseases, in a new study that compared the practice to vaccination.

The team, led by Brian Morris of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney, asserted in their newly published study that half of uncircumcised males will contract an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin.

“As with vaccination, circumcision of newborn boys should be part of public health policies,” the three coauthors wrote in their study, whose main findings were published on Wednesday on the medical website mayoclinicproceedings.org.

In the United States, circumcision rates in men has increased to 81 percent over the past decade, the study said.

Morris and the study’s co-authors, Stefan A. Bailis of the University of Sydney and Thomas E. Wiswell, a neonatologist from Florida, nonetheless wrote that a critical analysis of hospital discharge data in the United States showed that circumcision of infant males was in decline in that country.

According to the study, the practice has declined from 83 percent in the 1960s to 77 percent by 2010, largely due to the increase in the Hispanic population, where the practice is less prevalent.

“A risk-benefit analysis of conditions that neonatal circumcision protects against revealed that benefits exceed risks by at least 100 to one,” the authors wrote in the study, titled: “Circumcision Rates in the United States: Rising or Falling? What Effect Might the New Affirmative Pediatric Policy Statement Have?”

In August 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study suggesting that the procedure may protect heterosexual men from HIV and that the health benefits outweighed the risks connected to the procedure.

In response, dozens of European physicians — mostly from Scandinavia — wrote a letter alleging that “cultural bias” was behind the academy’s pro-circumcision stance.

Ritual circumcision of boys under 18 has come under attack in northern Europe in recent years, with several political parties and medical associations, mainly in Scandinavia, decrying it as a form of child abuse.