Circumcision rates slipping, says CDC: Why?

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(CBS) Is circumcision going out of style?

Circumcision rates dipped in the U.S. from 62.9 percent in 1999 to 56.9 percent in 2008, according to a new CDC study.

For the study - published in the September 2 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - researchers analyzed survey data on newborn male circumcisions. The researchers report these recent decreases follow an increase in circumcisions during the previous 10-year span.

Why are fewer parents opting to circumcise their newborns?

"Many factors likely influence rates of newborn male circumcision," CDC researchers said in a written statement. Medicaid coverage rules for low-income families may play a role, they said. The study showed hospitals in states where Medicaid covers the procedure had 24 percent more circumcisions than hospitals in states that didn't.

Circumcision has also been thrust into national debates recently, as anti-circumcision activists unsuccessfully tried to get the practice banned in San Francisco, as CBS News reported.

What do the experts say about circumcision?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the procedure can prevent bladder infections and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, but also notes potential downsides like reduced sensation and infection.

What do you think? Is circumcision going out of style? Should it?

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