Inflammatory arthritis diagnosed prior to peak age tied to impaired male fertility: BMJ
Men diagnosed with Inflammatory arthritis (IA) before and during the peak of reproductive age have a negative impact on their fertility, suggests a study published in Inflammatory arthritis.
The impact of inflammatory arthritis (IA) on male fertility remains unexplored.
A group of researchers from the Netherlands conducted a study to evaluate the impact of IA on several male fertility outcomes; fertility rate (number of biological children per man), family planning, childlessness and fertility problems.
The authors performed a multicentre cross-sectional study (iFAME-Fertility). Men with IA 40 years or older who indicated that their family size was complete were invited to participate. Participants completed a questionnaire that included demographic, medical and fertility-related questions. To analyse the impact of IA on fertility rate, patients were divided into groups according to the age at the time of their diagnosis: ≤30 years (before the peak of reproductive age), between 31 and 40 years (during the peak) and ≥41 years (after the peak).
The results of the study are as follows:
· In total 628 participants diagnosed with IA were included.
· Men diagnosed ≤30 years had a lower mean number of children than men diagnosed between 31 and 40 years and men diagnosed ≥41 years
· This was statistically significant
· The percentages of men diagnosed ≤30 and 31–40 years who were involuntary childless and who reported having received medical evaluations for fertility problems were statistically significantly higher than men diagnosed ≥41 years.
Thus, the researchers concluded that This is the first study that shows that IA can impair male fertility. Men diagnosed with IA before and during the peak of reproductive age had a lower fertility rate, higher childlessness rate and more fertility problems. Increased awareness and more research into the causes behind this association are urgently needed.
Impaired fertility in men diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis: results of a large multicentre study (iFAME-Fertility) by Perez-Garcia L et. al published in the Inflammatory arthritis.