Undiagnosed Prediabetes Prevalent in Men With Primary Infertility

Approximately 15% of men experiencing infertility may have undiagnosed prediabetes.

Approximately 15% of men experiencing infertility may have undiagnosed prediabetes, according to study findings published in BJU International.

Prediabetes is a relatively common metabolic disorder that places individuals at high risk for developing subsequent diabetes. The relationship between diabetes and male infertility has been explored in literature, but the opposite association between male factor infertility and prevalence of prediabetes has not been well investigated. To better understand this association, researchers conducted a cross-sectional real-life observational study that evaluated the prevalence of and factors associated with prediabetes in a homogenous cohort of 806 men who sought medical help for primary infertility at a single tertiary-referral center.

Within the cohort, characteristics suggesting the presence of prediabetes were found in 114 individuals (15.4%). Men with prediabetes tended to be older (P <.001) and had a higher body mass index (BMI) measurement that more frequently suggested obesity vs men without prediabetes (P ≤.04 for all). 

They also had lower levels of total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin but higher Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, and estradiol values vs men without prediabetes (P ≤.04 for all). Using multivariate analysis, older age (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; P =.001), FSH levels (OR, 1.03; P =.028), and idiopathic non-obstructive azoospermia (OR, 1.91; P =.04) were all independently associated with prediabetes after adjusting for BMI, CCI score, and testicular volume.

The variables that emerged as independently associated with a prediabetes status “could be considered as useful parameters to implement early preventive interventions in those men at risk of the consequences from poor glycemic control,” noted the researchers.

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Boeri L, Capogrosso P, Ventimiglia E, et al. Undiagnosed prediabetes is highly prevalent in primary infertile men – results from a cross-sectional study [published online October 16, 2018]. BJU Int. doi:10.1111/bju.14558