Health Buzz: Circumcision Rates Drop 10 Percent Over 32 Years

How to be a good listener; what to eat while breastfeeding

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In 2010, the Hospital Circumcision Rate of Newborns Was 58.3 Percent

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the national rate of circumcision fell 10 percent in a 32-year period. This rate, which refers specifically to the circumcisions of newborns in the hospital setting, was 64.5 percent in 1979 and 58.3 percent in 2010, although these rates fluctuated quite a bit, depending largely on what medical guidance on the procedure was published at the time. The rate of newborn circumcision hit its high in 1981 at 64.9 percent and its low in 2007 at 55.4 percent. The data, which was released today by the National Center for Health Statistics, also shows regional trends of newborn circumcision. Most notably, the West saw the largest change. Over the 32 year period, these states had a 37 percent decrease in newborn circumcisions, at one point reaching a low of 31.4 percent in 2003.

Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about circumcision on its website: "After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision." The group concludes that, "[T]he final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs." Here is the AAP's official circumcision policy statement.

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    What's more frustrating than speaking without being heard? We've all been there: confiding in a friend as she paws at her phone; pitching an idea to a co-worker as he interrupts with his own; telling your mom about your day as her eyes glaze over – apparently focusing on something else much, much more interesting than you.

    These situations, in the moment, can be annoying and downright hurtful. But the fact that they happen often can't be too surprising. "There's a misconception that when we hear, we listen," says Pamela Cooper, vice president of the International Listening Association, "but listening is really hard work, and it takes a great deal of concentration." No wonder our friends and family and co-workers can be lousy at it. But what about you – are you a good listener?

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