Effects of work and life stress on semen quality

Capsule:
A cross-sectional analysis of 193 men in California found an inverse association between perceived stress and sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. Associations for stressful life events were similar.

Authors:
Teresa Janevic, Ph.D., Linda Kahn, M.A., M.P.H., Paul Landsbergis, Ph.D., Piera Cirillo, Ph.D., Barbara Cohn, Ph.D., Xinhua Liu, Ph.D., Pam Factor-Litvak, Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 2, Pages 530-538

Abstract:

Objective:
To evaluate associations between work-related stress, stressful life events, and perceived stress and semen quality.

Design:
Cross-sectional analysis.

Setting:
Northern California.

Patient(s):
193 men from the Child Health and Development Studies evaluated between 2005–2008.

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Measures of stress including job strain, perceived stress, and stressful life events; outcome measures of sperm concentration, percentage of motile sperm, and percentage of morphologically normal sperm.

Result(s):
We found an inverse association between perceived stress score and sperm concentration (estimated coefficient b = −0.09 × 103/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.18, −0.01), motility (b = −0.39; 95% CI = −0.79, 0.01), and morphology (b= −0.14; 95% CI, −0.25, −0.04) in covariate-adjusted linear regression analyses. Men who experienced two or more stressful life events in the past year compared with no stressful events had a lower percentage of motile sperm (b= −8.22; 95% CI, −14.31, −2.13) and a lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm (b = −1.66; 95% CI, −3.35, 0.03) but a similar sperm concentration. Job strain was not associated with semen parameters.

Conclusion(s):
In this first study to examine all three domains of stress, perceived stress and stressful life events but not work-related stress were associated with semen quality.

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