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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Spermatogenic capacity in fertile men with elevated exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls

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BACKGROUND: Endocrine disrupting industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are suspected to adversely affect male reproductive functions.

OBJECTIVES: The Faroe Islands community exhibits an unusually wide range of exposures to dietary contaminants, and in this setting we examined the possible association between PCB exposure and semen quality and reproductive hormones in fertile Faroese men.

METHODS: Participants in this cross-sectional study include 266 proven fertile men residing in the Faroe Islands. PCB levels and hormone profiles were measured in serum samples taken at the clinical examination that included semen quality parameters.

RESULTS: A significant positive association was seen between serum-PCB and the testosterone/estradiol ratio (p=0.04). In the unadjusted analyses, elevated PCB exposure was associated with increased serum concentrations of SHBG (p=0.01) and FSH (p=0.05). We found no association between the serum PCB concentration and the semen quality variables.

CONCLUSION: In this population of highly exposed fertile men, the current serum-PCB concentration was associated with higher androgen/estrogen ratio. Further studies are needed to establish the findings and further document PCB-associated hormonal effects, any time windows of increased susceptibility, and the role of PCB in sub-fecundity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume138
Pages (from-to)345-51
Number of pages7
ISSN0013-9351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

    Research areas

  • Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Endocrine Disruptors, Environmental Exposure, Environmental Pollutants, Fluoroimmunoassay, Gonadal Hormones, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Male, Middle Aged, Peptide Hormones, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Semen, Semen Analysis, Spermatogenesis, Young Adult

ID: 45923010