Background: The etiology of cryptorchidism is largely unknown. To identify maternal, perinatal, and delivery characteristics associated with cryptorchidism at birth, we conducted a population-based case-control study using Washington State birth certificates linked to birth hospitalization records.
Methods: We identified 2,395 cases of cryptorchidism among male infants born in Washington State during 1986-1996, and, for comparison, we randomly selected four controls per case (N = 9,580), frequency-matched by year of birth.
Results: Infant characteristics associated with cryptorchidism included low birth weight (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.3-1.8), small size for gestational age (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.6-2.2), and breech presentation (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.4-2.1). In addition to cryptorchidism, cases were more likely to have another type of congenital malformation (OR = 3.7; 95% CI = 3.2-4.2), particularly digestive (OR = 6.8; 95% CI = 3.7-12.7) or genitourinary (OR = 4.1; 95% CI = 3.0-5.6). Maternal and pregnancy characteristics associated with cryptorchidism included nulliparity (OR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.1-1.3), maternal smoking during pregnancy (OR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.1-1.4), and the following pregnancy complications: oligohydramnios (OR = 1.8; 95% CI = 1.3-2.6), placental abnormality (OR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.0-1.8), and pregnancy-induced hypertension (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.4-1.9). Odds ratios were similar when the analysis was restricted to term infants.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that factors affecting fetal growth and development may increase the risk of cryptorchidism.