Increased Mortality Among Men Diagnosed With Impaired Fertility: Analysis of US Claims Data

Francesco Del Giudice, Alex M. Kasman, Shufeng Li, Federico Belladelli, Matteo Ferro, Ottavio de Cobelli, Ettore De Berardinis, Gian Maria Busetto, Michael L. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether male infertility or impaired spermatogenesis is associated with mortality. Methods: The Optum de-identified Clinformatics Data Mart database was queried from 2003 to 2017. Infertile men were compared to subjects undergoing semen analysis (ie, infertility testing). Infertile men with oligozoospermia or azoospermia were included. Mortality was determined by data linkage to the Social Security Administration Death Master File. Results were adjusted for age, smoking, obesity, year of evaluation, and health care visits as well as for most prevalent comorbidities. We separately examined men with prevalent or incident cardiovascular disease and cancer diagnoses to determine associations with mortality. Results: A total of 134,796 infertile men and 242,282 controls were followed for a mean of 3.6 and 3.1 years respectively. Overall, infertile men had a higher risk of death (Hazard Ratio [HR]= 1.42, 95% CI: 1.27-1.60) The diagnosis of azoospermia was associated with a significantly increased risk of death (HR= 2.01, 95% CI: 1.60-2.53) with a higher trend among men with oligospermia (HR: 1.17, 95% CI: 0.92-1.49) compared to controls. Subanalysis was done excluding prevalent cardiovascular and malignant disease (alone and combined) showing similar hazard ratios. Conclusion: Male infertility is associated with a higher risk of mortality especially among azoospermic men. Prevalent disease (which is known to be higher among infertile men) did not explain the higher risk of death among infertile men. The implications for treatment and surveillance of infertile men require further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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