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30 November 2009
Male infertility associated with range of diseases
by George Atkinson

An article published in European Urology suggests that infertile men are less healthy than fertile men and are more likely to suffer cancer and other diseases. The article "Are Infertile Men Less Healthy than Fertile Men?" concludes that male factor infertility is associated with a number of medical comorbidities.

"Because a greater prevalence of cancers among men with abnormalities in fertility has been reported, our hypothesis was that men with male factor infertility may also suffer from a higher rate of certain disorders other than cancers when compared with the general, age-comparable fertile population," explained study author Dr. Andrea Salonia, from the University Vita Salute San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.

The clinical observation of a significant rate of disease among men with male factor infertility prompted Dr. Salonia to examine whether those patients are generally less healthy than age-comparable fertile men. The study, carried out between September 2006 and September 2007, involved 344 European Caucasian men.

Dr. Salonia said the study provided novel evidence that male factor infertility accounts for a higher number of comorbidities, which may be considered a reliable proxy of a lower general health status - regardless of the reason for the infertility. "Additional studies in larger population-based samples are needed to confirm these results," the author concluded.

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Source: European Association of Urology

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