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Serum inhibin-B and FSH levels in male polymer production workers.

Lewis R; Winters S; Rempala G; Vertuli E
NIOSH 2002 Aug; :1-38
Evaluation of exposure-related effects on male fertility is problematic. Semen samples are difficult to obtain in industrial settings and quality measures (sperm counts and motility) are highly variable within subjects and between fertile and infertile men. Recent studies have demonstrated that serum levels Inhibin-B, a Sertoli cell secretory protein, are suppressed in the presence of testicular injury. At the present time, serum Inhibin-B levels have not been used to evaluate potential testicular injury due to occupational exposures to male reproductive toxins. Inhibin-B suppresses secretion of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This study analyzed levels of Inhibin-B and FSH in stored specimens from workers exposed to potential male reproductive toxins at polymer production plant in the mid- 1970's. The prevalence of workers with abnormal levels in different exposure groups were analyzed independently and using a combined criterion. Using logistic regression and non-parametric statistic methods we also evaluated the effect of specific exposure measures on these tests and the predictive value of these tests on reproductive outcomes. Inhibin-B and FSH levels were negatively correlated, although both test distributions had high variability. While abnormal Inhibin-B and FSH (log transformed) levels were not independently associated with exposures groups, when a combined criterion was used, there was increased prevalence of workers with abnormal results in all exposed workers in comparison with the control group. Abnormal Inhibin-B and FSH status seemed to be most strongly correlated with exposures in the production of synthetic rubber (acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene). There was an indication that this may also be related to the rates exposure a cumulative effect or a cumulative effect. There was a non- significant correlation between abnormal test status and subsequent reproductive outcome.
Toxicology; Fertility; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Styrene-butadiene-resins; Biological-monitoring
University of Louisville, Departments of Internal Medicine and Mathematics, Carmichael Building, Room 126, 512 Hancock Street, Louisville, KY 40292
107-13-1; 106-99-0; 100-42-5
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Final Grant Report
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities; Disease and Injury
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Louisville, Departments of Internal Medicine and Mathematics, Louisville, Kentucky
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division