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Overweight men have poorer sperm count

July 5, 2011 - 11:55 By 황장진

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

In what they described as the largest study of its kind, doctors looked at sperm samples from 1,940 men and matched them to the donor‘s weight.

The benchmark was the body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat among adults. Under this, normal weight is defined as a BMI of 18.5-25; overweight as 25-30 and obesity as 30 or more.

The higher the count in excess weight, the more the sperm quality suffered, especially among those in the obese category, according to the findings, presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm.

“Excess weight causes a modification in sperm characteristics, probably as a result of hormonal disturbance, which results in lower sperm numbers, motility and vitality,” said Paul Cohen-Bacrie, scientific director at Eylau-Unilabs in Paris, part of a Swiss-based network of labs in 12 European countries.

“This leads to losses in conception potential,” he said by phone.

The research found that the sperm count was lower by 10 percent among overweight men, and by 20 percent among obese men, compared with counterparts of normal weight.

The percentage of men who had a zero sperm count rose almost fourfold, from one percent in the normal weight category, to 3.8 percent, in the obese category.

(한글 요약)

과체중 남성, 정자수 적다

비만인 남성들도 여성들과 마찬가지로 생식 능력이 감퇴되는 것으로 밝혀졌다.

유럽 인류 생식 및 발생학회 (ESHRE)는 몸무게가 정상 범주를 초과할수록 정자의 질적 및 양적 저하가 두드러진다고 최근 스톡홀름에서 개최된 학술대회에서 발표하였다.

동종(同種)연구 사상 최대 규모인 이번 조사는 약 1,940명의 남성으로부터 추출한 정자 표본과 기증자의 몸무게를 대조하며 진행되었으며, 실험 참가자들은 체질량지수(BMI)를 기준으로 정상, 과체중, 비만으로 구분되었다.

정상인을 기준으로 보았을 때, 과체중 남성들은 평균 10% 적은 정자를 보유하고 있었으며 비만인 남성은 20% 적은 것으로 나타났다.

한 연구진은 “과체중은 호르몬 장애를 일으켜 정자의 행동에 영향을 주고, 이는 곧 개체 수 감소와 운동성 및 활력 저하로 이어진다”도 밝혔다.

한편 無정자증 발생 확률은 비만 범주의 남성들이 정상 몸무게 범주보다 무려 4배가 높았다.