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Reprod Toxicol. 2012 Jun;33(3):316-21. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.12.013. Epub 2011 Dec 31.

Exposures that may affect sperm DNA integrity: two decades of follow-up in a pregnancy cohort.

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Danish Ramazzini Center, Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Prenatal lifestyle exposures are linked to alterations in conventional semen characteristics. Sperm DNA integrity is another marker of semen quality shown to be altered in mice prenatally exposed to chemicals. From a Danish pregnancy cohort established in 1984-1987, sons were selected for a follow-up study in 2005-2006. We examined associations between prenatal and current lifestyle exposures and DNA fragmentation index (DFI) among 337 men. Sons of overweight mothers had 22% (95% CI: -3; 52) higher DFI than sons of normal weight mothers and sons of parents with a TTP >12 months had 14% (95% CI: -4; 34) higher DFI than sons of parents with a TTP of 0-6 months. Abstinence time was positively associated with DFI (p<0.005). Overweight men had higher DFI compared to normal weight men, however, statistically insignificantly. In conclusion, results indicate that DFI is affected by prenatal exposures, but confidence limits are wide and results statistically insignificant.

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