Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Association of Obesity, Race and Semen Parameters among Washington, DC-Area Men

Poster Number

41

Document Type

Poster

Status

Staff

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

Male Obesity; Fertility; Sperm Health; Semen Parameters; Reproductive Health

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

1. PURPOSE. A decades-long decline in semen quality in developed countries has partly coincided with an upsurge in obesity. Evidence suggests that obesity plays a role in male reproductive health outcomes, though studies examining Body Mass Index (BMI) and semen parameters are mixed. In addition, few have examined men of color. This investigation is examining the association between obesity, race and semen parameters while accounting for several demographic and lifestyle variables. It is analyzing an ethnically-diverse cohort of men attending the Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) physician health clinic in Northwest Washington, DC.

2. METHODS. Participants were recruited from adult medicine, endocrinology, and fertility clinics. Semen samples from 139 men were analyzed. Sperm concentration, motility and morphology were evaluated continuously and categorically according to WHO-abnormal lower reference limits. Categorical BMI and race were each evaluated as a primary predictor. Lifestyle variables including age, abstinence time, medications, drinking and smoking history were evaluated as potential confounders. Kruskal-Wallis, Chi-Square, and Fisher-Exact tests were used to compare semen parameters and descriptive characteristics among groups. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were evaluated.

3. RESULTS. The mean age of the sample was 41 and 81.8 percent of the sample was overweight or obese. Minority men made up half of the sample (50.3 percent). Descriptive data revealed some differences in semen parameters by BMI, race, and certain lifestyle characteristics. Black men were more likely to have been obese, made a partner pregnant, and non-drinkers compared to the rest of the population, and were less likely to have earned a college degree. Black men had reduced mean sperm concentration, motility and normal morphology compared to the rest of the population, while Hispanic men had elevated normal sperm morphology. Nearly two-thirds (65.9 percent) of the population had abnormal sperm morphology as defined by WHO lower-reference limits.

4. CONCLUSION. Results showed some differences in semen parameters by race but not by BMI among this sample, the majority of whom were overweight or obese. Given how few studies have evaluated fertility among men of color, future reproductive health studies should examine the sperm health of minority men and further examine whether overweight or obesity influences fertility.

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Creative Commons License
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Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Association of Obesity, Race and Semen Parameters among Washington, DC-Area Men

1. PURPOSE. A decades-long decline in semen quality in developed countries has partly coincided with an upsurge in obesity. Evidence suggests that obesity plays a role in male reproductive health outcomes, though studies examining Body Mass Index (BMI) and semen parameters are mixed. In addition, few have examined men of color. This investigation is examining the association between obesity, race and semen parameters while accounting for several demographic and lifestyle variables. It is analyzing an ethnically-diverse cohort of men attending the Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) physician health clinic in Northwest Washington, DC.

2. METHODS. Participants were recruited from adult medicine, endocrinology, and fertility clinics. Semen samples from 139 men were analyzed. Sperm concentration, motility and morphology were evaluated continuously and categorically according to WHO-abnormal lower reference limits. Categorical BMI and race were each evaluated as a primary predictor. Lifestyle variables including age, abstinence time, medications, drinking and smoking history were evaluated as potential confounders. Kruskal-Wallis, Chi-Square, and Fisher-Exact tests were used to compare semen parameters and descriptive characteristics among groups. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were evaluated.

3. RESULTS. The mean age of the sample was 41 and 81.8 percent of the sample was overweight or obese. Minority men made up half of the sample (50.3 percent). Descriptive data revealed some differences in semen parameters by BMI, race, and certain lifestyle characteristics. Black men were more likely to have been obese, made a partner pregnant, and non-drinkers compared to the rest of the population, and were less likely to have earned a college degree. Black men had reduced mean sperm concentration, motility and normal morphology compared to the rest of the population, while Hispanic men had elevated normal sperm morphology. Nearly two-thirds (65.9 percent) of the population had abnormal sperm morphology as defined by WHO lower-reference limits.

4. CONCLUSION. Results showed some differences in semen parameters by race but not by BMI among this sample, the majority of whom were overweight or obese. Given how few studies have evaluated fertility among men of color, future reproductive health studies should examine the sperm health of minority men and further examine whether overweight or obesity influences fertility.