Diabetic Men Have Greater DNA Damage in Sperm

Higher DNA fragmentation rate may affect fertility

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Men with diabetes mellitus have more DNA damage in their sperm than men without diabetes, which could affect their fertility, according to study findings published online May 3 in Human Reproduction.

Ishola M. Agbaje, of Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, U.K., and colleagues analyzed semen from 27 diabetic men (mean age 34) and 29 non-diabetic men (mean age 33) who were undergoing routine investigations for infertility.

Thirty-two percent of the controls had an elevation in the fragmentations of nuclear DNA, compared with 53 percent of the diabetic men. Diabetics had a median of four mitochondrial DNA deletions compared to three for the controls. While diabetics had a lower semen volume, all other parameters, such as sperm count, were similar to the controls.

"As far as we know, this is the first report of the quality of DNA in the nucleus and mitochondria of sperm in diabetes. Our study identifies important evidence of increased DNA fragmentation of nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA deletions in sperm from diabetic men. These findings cause concern, as they may have implications for fertility," said Agbaje, in a statement.

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