Oncotarget

Research Papers: Pathology:

Early pubertal timing is associated with lower sperm concentration in college students

Xiaogang Wang, Peng Zou, Min Mo, Huan Yang, Qing Chen, Niya Zhou, Lei Sun, Hongqiang Chen, Lin Ao, Zhihong Cui and Jia Cao _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:24178-24186. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24415

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Abstract

Xiaogang Wang1, Peng Zou1, Min Mo1, Huan Yang1, Qing Chen1, Niya Zhou1, Lei Sun1, Hongqiang Chen1, Lin Ao1, Zhihong Cui1 and Jia Cao1

1Key Lab of Medical Protection for Electromagnetic Radiation, Ministry of Education of China, Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

Correspondence to:

Jia Cao, email: caojia1962@126.com

Zhihong Cui, email: zhihongcui_4@126.com

Keywords: puberty; semen quality; reproductive hormones; andrology; epidemiology; Pathology

Received: April 26, 2017     Accepted: January 14, 2018     Epub: February 06, 2018     Published: May 11, 2018

ABSTRACT

To study the associations between pubertal timing and semen quality and reproductive hormones, 680 volunteers were recruited from universities in Chongqing, China. Pubertal timing was obtained using a questionnaire. The main measurements were five routine semen parameters and six reproductive hormones. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found that early pubertal timing was associated with lower sperm concentration. An one-year increase in age of peak height velocity was associated with a 4.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0 to 8.6) increase in sperm concentration. An one-year increase in age of first spermatorrhea was associated with a 6.4% increase in sperm concentration and a 2.9% decrease in semen volume (95% CI = 1.7 to 11.3, −5.5 to −0.3; respectively). Regarding reproductive hormones, an one-year increase in age of height spurt and peak height velocity was associated with a 6.5% and a 6.7% decrease in estrogen (95% CI = −9.8 to −3.0, −10.4 to −2.8; respectively). While an one-year increase in age of height spurt was associated with higher follicle-stimulating hormone (% change = 2.6, 95% CI = 0.2 to 4.7). This was the first report that has suggested that early pubertal timing is associated with lower sperm concentration. However, further study is still needed to validate this association and fully elucidate the mechanism behind it.


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