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Polychlorinated biphenyls and semen quality - life study.
Buck Louis GM; Kim S; Chen Z; Sweeney AM; Barr D; Schrader SM
Fertil Steril 2010 Sep; 94(4)(Suppl 1):S73-S74
OBJECTIVE: Preliminary evidence suggests that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may be associated with diminished male fecundity, though much of available evidence utilizes clinical rather than population-based sampling frameworks. In response, we designed the LIFE Study to assess the relation between 36 PCB congeners and semen quality. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study design. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 501 couples with a male partner aged >17 years were recruited from households located in 16 counties in Texas and Michigan with presumed environmental PCB exposure. Men (95%) collected semen samples following a two-day abstinence period during the first two months attempting pregnancy and shipped specimens overnight to an andrology laboratory. PCB congeners were summed as a simple total then categorized by purported biologic activity into estrogenic, antiestrogenic and other groupings (ng/g serum). Multiple linear regression utilizing the weighted least squares approach modeled total PCBs and each grouping separately in relation to semen quality endpoints (left continuous) adjusting for age (years), location (Texas/Michigan), and serum cotinine (log transformed). RESULTS: Total PCBs were negatively associated with total sperm count (beta = -12.5; p<0.04) and anti-estrogenic PCBs with amplitude of lateral head displacement (um) (beta = -10.8; p<0.02) and beat cross frequency (Hz) (beta = -57.6; p<0.02). Serum lipids were not associated with semen quality. CONCLUSION: Select PCB congeners at environmentally relevant concentrations were negatively associated with aspects of semen quality in this population-based cohort of couples attempting pregnancy. Our findings underscore the importance of assessing chemical mixtures by purported biologic activity of PCBs relative to aspects of semen quality to aid future mechanistic research.
Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-system-disorders; Men; Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Environmental-exposure; Sampling; Mathematical-models; Estrogenic-hormones; Lipids; Biological-function; Fertility
Issue of Publication
Fertility and Sterility
MD; TX; GA; OH
Page last reviewed: July 15, 2022Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division