Male infertility linked to prostate cancer risk

Men who have children through assisted reproduction are at increased risk of early onset prostate cancer.

According a Swedish study, published in the British Medical Journal, men who became fathers through either in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) had a statistically significantly increased risk of prostate cancer compared with men who conceived naturally (hazard ratio [HR] 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25–2.15 for ICSI; HR 1.33, CI 1.06–1.66 for IVF). They also had an increased risk of early onset disease (diagnosis before age 55 years) (HR 1.86, CI 1.25–2.77 for ICSI; HR 1.51, CI 1.09–2.08 for IVF).

The large study was conducted among fathers of 1 181 490 children born alive in Sweden during 1994–2014. Fathers were grouped according to fertility status by mode of conception: 20 618 by IVF, 14 882 by ICSI, and 1 145 990 by natural conception.

Men who achieved fatherhood through assisted reproduction techniques, particularly through ICSI, are at increased risk for early onset prostate cancer and thus constitute a risk group in which testing and careful long term follow-up for prostate cancer may be beneficial, the authors conclude.

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