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Table 1 Summary of epidemiological observational studies on the effects of EDs exposure on semen quality and endocrine function in humans

From: Water and soil pollution as determinant of water and food quality/contamination and its impact on male fertility

EDs Population Design Main Findings Ref.
Ps 168 men from subfertile couples CC Decreased sperm motility and concentration [39]
463 male partners of subfertile couples C Decreased sperm concentration and mobility [42]
150 men C Decreased sperm concentration [43]
379 men from an infertility clinic CC Increased DNA damage [40]
65 asthenospermic, 65 oligoasthenospermic, 50 fertile males CC Decreased sperm motility [34]
425 men from an infertility clinic P Decreased testosterone, estradiol,and free androgen index [44]
BPA 42 occupationally exposed and 42 occupationally nonexposed men CS Lower FSH in occupationally exposed men. No differences in LH and fT. [79]
307 men from general population CS No associations with E2, SHBG, and fT. Associated with higher T. [80]
167 men attending a fertility clinic P Associated with lower inhibin B and LH and higher FSH. No relationship with T, SHBG, E2, fT, T3, T4, and TSH. [133]
190 men attending a fertility clinic CS Associated with lower sperm concentration, normal morphology and motility. No association with total sperm count. Associated with higher sperm DNA damage. [74]
315 fertile men from prenatal clinics CS Associated with lower FAI and FAI:LH and higher SHBG. No association with semen parameters, FSH, LH, T, inhibin B, and fT. [75]
218 occupationally exposed and nonexposed men P Associated with lower sperm concentration, total count, normal motility and vitality in all men. Associated with lower sperm concentration, normal motility and vitality in occupationally exposed men. Associated with lower sperm concentration in occupationally nonexposed men. No association with ejaculate volume and morphology. [76]
149 male partners of couples undergoing IVF treatments P Associated with lower total sperm count, concentration, and vitality. No association with other semen quality parameters. [5]
308 young men from general population CS Associated with lower progressive motility. No association with other semen quality parameters. Associated with higher T, LH, E2, and fT. No association with FSH, inhibin B, and SHBG. [77]
418 male partners of couples trying to become pregnant P Associated with lower % sperm DNA fragmentation. No association with semen quality parameters [78]
OPs 94 cases and 95 controls CC Decreased sperm concentration and motility [92]
31 sprayers and 80 controls CC Pesticide sprayers had significantly reduced seminal volume, percentage of motility, percentage of sperm with normal morphology, serum LH and T levels, increased time of liquefaction, seminal pH, percentage of immature sperm morphology, [93]
32 cases, 46 internal controls, 22 external controls CC Sperm motion parameters; sperm progression and beat cross frequency in the exposure group were decreased significantly compared with the internal and the external control groups. [94]
PFCs 105 men from general population R Association of PFOS and PFOA with abnormal sperm morphology; no association between other PFCs and semen parameters or reproductive hormones [116]
256 non-exposed adult men attending infertility clinic CS No association with semen parameters; positive correlation of serum PFOA and PFOS with LH [110]
604 fertile men from general population C No association between PFCs and apoptotic markers or reproductive hormones emerged; slight increase in SHBG and DNA fragmentation with increased PFOA exposure [119]
588 partners of pregnant women C Association between PFOS and abnormal sperm morphology; positive association between PFOA and semen motility [118]
247 healthy men from general population CS PFOS levels were negatively associated with testosterone; negative association between PFHpS and sperm motility; other PFCs were not significantly associated with semen quality or reproductive hormones [134]
169 men from an exposed pregnancy cohort R Association between PFOA and reduced sperm concentration and total sperm count; association between PFOA and increased levels of LH and FSH; no association between PFOS and any of the measured parameters [114]
501 couples discontinuing contraception C Association with abnormal sperm morphology and sperm immaturity for at least 2 PFCs combined [117]
59 male patients attending the Centre for Couple Sterility P Significant increase in alterations of sperm parameters in PFC-positive subjects; disomy and diploidy rates were significantly increased in PFC-positive males; sperm DNA fragmentation index resulted significantly increased in PFC-positive subjects [120]
Cd 60 Infertile patients and 40 ferile controls C Significant negative correlation was observed between serum Cd level and total sperm count, sperm viability, sperm motility and normal sperm morphology. A positive correlation was also observed between seminal plasma Cd and FSH. [135]
140 Infertile patients, 15 Sperm donors and 35 Unselected males C The percentage of motile sperm and sperm concentration correlated inversely with seminal plasma cadmium among the infertility patients [136]
73 infertile patients and 46 fertile controls CS A negative association between seminal cadmium concentration and sperm concentration and sperm motility was found [129]
61 infertile patients CC There was a significant positive association between the percentage of immotile sperms and seminal plasma levels of cadmium. [137]
149 environmentally-exposed males CS Significant negative correlation between blood plasma levels of cadmium and normal sperm morphology. No correlation was found between cadmium and other seminal parameters. [138]
56 environmentally-exposed males CS Significant negative correlation between seminal plasma cadmium levels and total sperm count and sperm concentration. No association was found between cadmium and other seminal parameters [139]
219 infertile patients CS No significant association was found between cadmium exposure and seminal parameters [140]
123 infertile patients CS Serum cadmium was significantly associated with a decrease in testis size and an increase in serum estradiol, FSH and testosterone [141]
27 occupationally-exposed workers and 45 sperm donors CS The concentrations of cadmium did not show any correlation with parameters of semen analysis. [142]
1052 men attending fertility clinics CS Urinary levels of cadmium were significantly inversely associated with progressive sperm motility and total motility [143]
587 men from the general population CS Inverse associations between Cd and semen volume, progressive motility and sperm morphology were found across the whole group [144]
  1. EDs: Endocrine Disruptors; Ps: Phtalathes; BPA: Bisphenol A; Ops: Organophosphate pesticides; PFCs: Perfluoroalkyl Substances; CC: Case-Control study; CS: Cross-Sectional study; C: Cohort study; P: Prospective Study; R: Retrospective study