Men with a low sperm count are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as they grow older, research suggests.
A Swedish study showed a third of men with fertility issues also faced an increased chance of developing osteoporosis, a condition that can develop when bones become weaker.
A total of 192 men with fertility problems were recruited for the study at a reproductive medicine centre in the Swedish city of Malmo and they were compared with 199 fertile men.
Around a third of the infertile men, who were aged under 50, were found to be seven times more likely to show signs of low sex hormones and were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as they had high blood glucose levels.
Researchers said the combination of infertility and low levels of sex hormones show clear links to metabolic diseases.
Lead author Dr. Aleksander Giwercman said: “We would recommend that levels of reproductive hormones should be checked in all men seeking advice for fertility problems. Those at risk of serious disease should be followed after the completion of fertility treatment.”
Professor Jens Sønkse, University of Copenhage, commented: “This study is very interesting, as is the question it poses: whether infertility in men below the age of 50 years might be used as a predictor for development of metabolic diseases, including diabetes and osteoporosis later in life.”
The findings were unveiled at the European Association of Urology conference in Munich.

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