BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic literature on the relation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with semen quality among adult men has been inconclusive, and no studies have prospectively explored the association between peripubertal serum OCPs and semen parameters in young men.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate prospective associations of peripubertal serum concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocylohexane (β-HCH), and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) with semen parameters among young Russian men.
METHODS: This prospective cohort study included 152 young men who enrolled in the Russian Children's Study (2003-2005) at age 8-9 years and were followed annually until young adulthood. HCB, β-HCH, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were measured at the CDC by mass spectrometry in serum collected at enrollment. Between 18 and 23 years, semen samples (n = 298) were provided for analysis of volume, concentration, and progressive motility; we also calculated total sperm count and total progressive motile count. Linear mixed models were used to examine the longitudinal associations of quartiles of serum HCB, β-HCH and p,p'-DDE with semen parameters, adjusting for total serum lipids, body mass index, smoking, abstinence time and baseline dietary macronutrient intake.
RESULTS: Lipid-adjusted medians (IQR) for serum HCB, βHCH and p,ṕ-DDE, respectively, were 150 ng/g lipid (102-243), 172 ng/g lipid (120-257) and 275 ng/g lipid (190-465). In adjusted models, we observed lower ejaculated volume with higher serum concentrations of HCB and βHCH, along with reduced progressive motility with higher concentrations of βHCH andp,ṕ-DDE. Men in the highest quartile of serum HCB had a mean (95% Confidence Interval, CI) ejaculated volume of 2.25 mL (1.89, 2.60), as compared to those in the lowest quartile with a mean (95% CI) of 2.97 mL (2.46, 3.49) (p = 0.03). Also, men in the highest quartile of serum p,ṕ-DDE had a mean (95% CI) progressive motility of 51.1% (48.6, 53.7), as compared to those in the lowest quartile with a mean (95% CI) of 55.1% (51.7, 58.5) (p = 0.07).
CONCLUSION: In this longitudinal Russian cohort study, peripubertal serum concentrations of selected OCPs were associated with lower ejaculated volume and progressive motility highlighting the importance of the peripubertal window when evaluating chemical exposures in relation to semen quality.
Abou Ghayda, Ramy; Sergeyev, Oleg; Burns, Jane S; Williams, Paige L; Lee, Mary M; Korrick, Susan A; Smigulina, Luidmila; Dikov, Yury; Hauser, Russ; and Mínguez-Alarcón, Lidia, "Peripubertal serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and semen parameters in Russian young men." (2020). Department of Pediatrics Faculty Papers. Paper 95.
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