Metabolic diseases are conditions where the
body cannot function properly at the cellular level due to its inability to
break down nutrients or excrete waste material. Metabolic diseases are often
inherited. In such cases, genetic abnormalities may result in the absence of an
enzyme required to carry out a chemical reaction. In addition, conditions affecting organs like liver and pancreas can also result in metabolic disorders. Diabetes
is a common metabolic disorder where
glucose levels in the body are higher than normal.
‘Infertile men may be at a risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis as they grow older.’
Fertility problems or an inability to conceive could be due to a medical problem in either the male or the female partner. Infertility
in women may occur due to several
causes, which may include hormonal conditions, anatomical problems of the genital tract and endometriosis
. However, a problem in males
also commonly contributes to infertility. A low sperm count
or abnormalities in sperms may be the
cause of infertility, though hormonal problems like low testosterone levels
or other issues may also be responsible.
researchers have found that young infertile men may be prone to metabolic
Their findings were based on a study on 192 men with a low sperm
count, whom they compared with normal males.
The researchers found that around one third
of the men with low sperm count below the age of 50 years had low levels of sex hormones and were diagnosed with a condition called hypogonadism
. These men were also
evaluated for bone mineral density, which is a marker for osteoporosis
, and HBA1c, which is a marker of diabetes.
researchers found that hypogonadal men had low bone density
. Bone density
gives strength to bones, therefore low bone density could result in
osteoporosis and increases
the risk of fractures. The men also
showed an increase in HbA1c levels and signs of insulin resistance. These
factors indicate an increased risk for diabetes
Diabetes can result in several complications,
affecting nearly every organ system. However, complications in both diabetes
and osteoporosis can be avoided if they
are diagnosed and treated early.
researchers therefore suggest that any patient with hypogonadism should be
followed up to detect any changes related to metabolic diseases like diabetes
and osteoporosis, even after they have been treated for their infertility
However, more studies are necessary to confirm the findings of the study.
Association of Urology Congress Press release