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Article
April 1951

CIRCUMCISION AND PRIMARY SYPHILIS

Author Affiliations

SAGINAW, MICH.; ANN ARBOR, MICH.

From the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Ann Arbor.

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;63(4):504-505. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570040098021
Abstract

In 1855 Johnathan Hutchinson first noted that syphilis was uncommon in Jews.1 Brietenstein,2 in a study of 15,000 circumcised African soldiers and 18,000 European soldiers, many of whom were uncircumcised, found venereal disease, including syphilis, commoner in the uncircumcised. Numerous authors, including one of us (E. H.3), have confirmed the observation that syphilis is less common in the circumcised.

Our plan to study the influence of circumcision on acquisition of venereal disease in a large number of patients over a period of years was foiled because of the closing of the Rapid Treatment center in Ann Arbor.

OBSERVATIONS  The 136 cases of syphilis studied prior to the closing included those of 78 white gentiles, 3 Mexicans and 56 Negroes; of these, 44.1 per cent of the gentiles, 16 per cent of the Negroes and none of the Mexicans were circumcised. No Jews were seen with syphilis.

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