Obesity leads to higher risk of sperm DNA damage in infertile patients

Asian J Androl. 2013 Sep;15(5):622-5. doi: 10.1038/aja.2013.65. Epub 2013 Jun 24.


There has been a growing interest over the past few years in the impact of male nutrition on fertility. Infertility has been linked to male overweight or obesity, and conventional semen parameter values seem to be altered in case of high body mass index (BMI). A few studies assessing the impact of BMI on sperm DNA integrity have been published, but they did not lead to a strong consensus. Our objective was to explore further the relationship between sperm DNA integrity and BMI, through a 3-year multicentre study. Three hundred and thirty male partners in subfertile couples were included. Using the terminal uridine nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay, we observed an increased rate of sperm DNA damage in obese men (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 2.5 (1.2-5.1)).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Humans
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / genetics*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Overweight / genetics
  • Semen Analysis