Cadmium, lead, and other metals in relation to semen quality: Human evidence for molybdenum as a male reproductive toxicant

John D. Meeker, Mary G. Rossano, Bridget Protas, Michael P. Diamond, Elizabeth Puscheck, Douglas Daly, Nigel Paneth, Julia J. Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Evidence on human semen quality as it relates to exposure to various metals, both essential (e.g., zinc, copper) and nonessential (e.g., cadmium, lead), is inconsistent. Most studies to date used small sample sizes and were unable to account for important covariates. Objectives: Our goal in this study was to assess relationships between exposure to multiple metals at environmental levels and human semen-quality parameters. Methods: We measured semen quality and metals in blood (arsenic, Cd, chromium, Cu, Pb, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, and Zn) among 219 men recruited through two infertility clinics. We used multiple statistical approaches to assess relationships between metals and semen quality while accounting for important covariates and various metals. Results: Among a number of notable findings, the associations involving Mo were the most consistent over the various statistical approaches. We found dose-dependent trends between Mo and declined sperm concentration and normal morphology, even when considering potential confounders and other metals. For example, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for below-reference semenquality parameters in the low, medium, and high Mo groups were 1.0 (reference), 1.4 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.5-3.7], and 3.5 (95% CI, 1.1-11) for sperm concentration and 1.0 (reference), 0.8 (95% CI, 0.3-1.9), and 2.6 (95% CI, 1.0-7.0) for morphology. We also found preliminary evidence for interactions between Mo and low Cu or Zn. In stratified analyses, the adjusted ORs in the high Mo/low Cu group were 14.4 (1.6, 132) and 13.7 (1.6, 114) for below-reference sperm concentration and morphology, respectively. Conclusions: Our findings represent the first human evidence for an inverse association between Mo and semen quality. These relationships are consistent with animal data, but additional human and mechanistic studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1473-1479
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume116
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Fingerprint

Semen Analysis
Molybdenum
Cadmium
Metals
Confidence Intervals
Spermatozoa
Odds Ratio
Arsenic
Chromium
Manganese
Selenium
Mercury
Sample Size
Infertility
Lead
Zinc
Copper

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Epidemiology
  • Exposure
  • Fertility
  • Metals
  • Sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Cadmium, lead, and other metals in relation to semen quality : Human evidence for molybdenum as a male reproductive toxicant. / Meeker, John D.; Rossano, Mary G.; Protas, Bridget; Diamond, Michael P.; Puscheck, Elizabeth; Daly, Douglas; Paneth, Nigel; Wirth, Julia J.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 116, No. 11, 01.12.2008, p. 1473-1479.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meeker, John D. ; Rossano, Mary G. ; Protas, Bridget ; Diamond, Michael P. ; Puscheck, Elizabeth ; Daly, Douglas ; Paneth, Nigel ; Wirth, Julia J. / Cadmium, lead, and other metals in relation to semen quality : Human evidence for molybdenum as a male reproductive toxicant. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2008 ; Vol. 116, No. 11. pp. 1473-1479.
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abstract = "Background: Evidence on human semen quality as it relates to exposure to various metals, both essential (e.g., zinc, copper) and nonessential (e.g., cadmium, lead), is inconsistent. Most studies to date used small sample sizes and were unable to account for important covariates. Objectives: Our goal in this study was to assess relationships between exposure to multiple metals at environmental levels and human semen-quality parameters. Methods: We measured semen quality and metals in blood (arsenic, Cd, chromium, Cu, Pb, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, and Zn) among 219 men recruited through two infertility clinics. We used multiple statistical approaches to assess relationships between metals and semen quality while accounting for important covariates and various metals. Results: Among a number of notable findings, the associations involving Mo were the most consistent over the various statistical approaches. We found dose-dependent trends between Mo and declined sperm concentration and normal morphology, even when considering potential confounders and other metals. For example, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for below-reference semenquality parameters in the low, medium, and high Mo groups were 1.0 (reference), 1.4 [95{\%} confidence interval (CI), 0.5-3.7], and 3.5 (95{\%} CI, 1.1-11) for sperm concentration and 1.0 (reference), 0.8 (95{\%} CI, 0.3-1.9), and 2.6 (95{\%} CI, 1.0-7.0) for morphology. We also found preliminary evidence for interactions between Mo and low Cu or Zn. In stratified analyses, the adjusted ORs in the high Mo/low Cu group were 14.4 (1.6, 132) and 13.7 (1.6, 114) for below-reference sperm concentration and morphology, respectively. Conclusions: Our findings represent the first human evidence for an inverse association between Mo and semen quality. These relationships are consistent with animal data, but additional human and mechanistic studies are needed.",
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AU - Meeker, John D.

AU - Rossano, Mary G.

AU - Protas, Bridget

AU - Diamond, Michael P.

AU - Puscheck, Elizabeth

AU - Daly, Douglas

AU - Paneth, Nigel

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