FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Insecticide exposure is associated with lower sperm concentration, according to a systematic review published online Nov. 15 in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Laura B. Ellis, M.P.H., from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the qualitative and quantitative strength of epidemiological evidence relating to exposure to two classes of insecticides (organophosphates [OPs] and N-methyl carbamates [NMCs]) and sperm concentration in a systematic review. Data were included from 20 studies, with 21 study populations, 42 effect sizes, and 1,774 adult men.
The researchers found that the pooled bias-corrected standardized mean difference in sperm concentration was −0.30 between adult men more and less exposed to OP and NMC insecticides. Risk for bias, insecticide class, exposure setting, and recruitment setting modified the pooled effect estimate, but it remained negative in direction across all meta-analyses. The body of evidence was rated as moderate quality; sufficient evidence was seen for an association between higher exposure to OP and NMC insecticides and lower sperm concentration.
“While additional cohort studies would be beneficial to fill data gaps and address causal inference, action should be taken now to reduce exposure to OP and NMC insecticides and prevent continued reproductive harm,” the authors write.
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