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Semen characteristics of Vietnam veterans.
DeStefano-F; Annest-JL; Kresnow-MJ; Schrader-SM; Katz-DF
Reprod Toxicol 1989 Jan; 3(3):165-173
Detailed results were presented on the semen characteristics of 324 Vietnam veterans compared with a similar group of 247 army veterans who did not serve in Vietnam. The demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral characteristics of the Vietnam and the nonVietnam veterans were similar. The Vietnam veterans reported having more difficulties conceiving pregnancies and more physician diagnosed infertility conditions that nonVietnam veterans. The distribution of number of children fathered after entry into the army was similar for the two groups. The mean sperm concentration was 20 percent lower for Vietnam veterans. The mean proportion of motile sperm and other sperm motility measures were similar for the two groups. Vietnam veterans had a lower mean proportion of morphologically normal sperm (57.9 percent) than did nonVietnam veterans (60.8 percent). Slightly higher proportions of large, tapered, and amorphous sperm cells were noted among the Vietnam veterans. Specimens from Vietnam veterans were more likely to contain larger and more tapered sperm. The mean cell perimeter and mean length of the major axis of the cell were significantly larger for Vietnam veterans. Specimens from Vietnam veterans were less likely to have sperm concentrations less than or equal to the clinical reference value of 20 million cells/milliliter of semen. No trends were noted in the percentage of veterans with semen abnormalities by level of self reported combat or herbicide exposure. The percentage of veterans with sperm abnormalities was less for those who reported taking antimalarial drugs during Vietnam service than for those who reported not taking these drugs.
NIOSH-Author; Reproductive-hazards; Military-personnel; Epidemiology; Herbicides; Drug-interaction; Agricultural-chemicals; Spermatogenesis; Hormones; Reproductive-system-disorders
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Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division