Male factor infertility and risk of multiple sclerosis: A register-based cohort study

Gender, possibly due to the influence of gonadal hormones, is presumed to play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), but no studies have evaluated whether male infertility is associated with MS.

To study the association between male factor infertility and prevalent as well as incident MS.

Our cohort was established by linkage of the Danish National in vitro fertilization (IVF) registry to The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry and consisted of 51,063 men whose partners had undergone fertility treatment in all public and private fertility clinics in Denmark between 1994 and 2015.

With a median age of 34 years at baseline, 24,011 men were diagnosed with male factor infertility and 27,052 did not have male factor infertility and made up the reference group. Men diagnosed with male factor infertility had a higher risk of prevalent (odds ratio (OR) = 1.61, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.04-2.51) and incident MS (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.28, 95% CI 0.76-2.17) when compared to the reference group.

This nationwide cohort study has shown, for the first time, an association between male infertility and MS which may be due to underlying common etiologies such as hypogonadism, shared genetics, or a joint autoimmune component.

Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England). 2017 Oct 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Clara Helene Glazer, Sandra Søgaard Tøttenborg, Aleksander Giwercman, Elvira Vaclavik Bräuner, Michael L Eisenberg, Ditte Vassard, Melinda Magyari, Anja Pinborg, Lone Schmidt, Jens Peter Bonde

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark., Molecular Reproductive Medicine, Department of Translational Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden., Mental Health Center Ballerup, Capital Region of Denmark, Center for Eating Disorders, Research Unit, Ballerup, Denmark., Departments of Urology and Obstetrics/Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA., Department of Public Health, Section of Social Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark., Department of Neurology, The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark., Department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.