Mortality in 43,598 men with infertility – a Swedish nationwide population-based cohort study


Does infertility put you at greater risk of mortality or comorbidity?

Previous studies have suggested a higher risk of comorbidity in men with infertility. A new study published in the Dove Medical Press journal Clinical Epidemiology sheds further light on this topic.

The paper entitled, ‘Mortality in 43,598 men with infertility – a Swedish nationwide population-based cohort study’ examines mortality in men with infertility or an infertility-related diagnosis. The Swedish study looked at men born between 1944 and 1992, and 43,598 men with a diagnosis of infertility. They also looked at 57,733 men with an infertility-related diagnosis such as hypopituitarism, testicular hypofunction and Klinefelter syndrome. They compared these to a reference group of 2,762,254 men without diagnoses related to fertility.

The outcome measures were all-cause and cause-specific mortality at age 20 to 69 years of age, and the 2,863,585 men studied were followed for a median of 22 years.

Their study offers several improvements on previous research as the large numbers studied allowed the authors ‘to calculate precise risk estimates, as well as to examine cause-specific death.’
In conclusion, they write that ‘this nationwide study found no excess risk of death in men with a diagnosis of infertility. Men with an infertility-related diagnosis had a slightly higher risk of death compared with men without such a diagnosis. Further research is needed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of this association.’

Associate Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Epidemiology, Professor Irene Petersen, commented that ‘Large-scale studies of mortality in men with infertility are rare. This study, based on high-quality data from hospital settings in Sweden is therefore likely to make an important contribution to the debate. Frida Lundberg and colleagues, demonstrate that infertility as such is unlikely to increase the risk of death. However, having a diagnosis related to infertility may be linked to a higher risk of death.’

Updated 27 August 2019