Background: 18 previous meta-analyses have been published on the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and A1298C polymorphisms with male infertility risk. However, results of the previous meta-analyses were still inconsistent. Moreover, their meta-analyses did not assess false-positive report probabilities except one study. Furthermore, many new studies have been published, and therefore an updated meta-analysis and re-analysis of systematic previous meta-analyses were performed to further explore these issues.
Objectives: To determine the association between MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and male infertility risk.
Methods: Crude odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were used to assess the association between MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and male infertility risk. We used the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP) to assess the credibility of statistically significant associations.
Results: Fifty-nine studies were included concerning the MTHFR C677T and 28 studies were found on the MTHFR A1298C with male infertility risk. Overall, the MTHFR C677T was associated with increased male infertility risk in overall populations, Africans, East Asians, West Asians, South Asians, azoospermia, and Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT). In further sensitivity analysis and BFDP test, the positive results were only considered as "noteworthy" in the overall population (TT vs CC: BFDP = 0.294, CT + TT vs CC: BFDP = 0.300, T vs C: BFDP = 0.336), East Asians (TT vs CC: BFDP = 0.089, TT vs CT + CC: BFDP = 0.020, T vs C: BFDP < 0.001), West Asians (TT vs CC: BFDP = 0.584), hospital-based studies (TT vs CC: BFDP = 0.726, TT vs CT + CC: BFDP = 0.126), and OAT (TT vs CT + CC: BFDP = 0.494) for MTHFR C677T. In addition, a significantly increased male infertility risk was found in East Asians and population-based studies for MTHFR A1298C. However, we did not find that the positive results were considered as "noteworthy" in the overall and all subgroup analyses for MTHFR A1298C.
Conclusions: In summary, this study indicates that the MTHFR C677T is associated with increased male infertility risk in East Asians, West Asians, and OAT. No significant association was observed on the MTHFR A1298C with male infertility risk.
Copyright © 2020 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.