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Is male fertility associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus?



The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of infertility in Qatari men with Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and to examine the association between T2DM and infertility.


This is a cross-sectional study.


The survey was conducted at Primary Health Care Centers during a period from January 2008 to June 2008.


The selected subjects for the study were Qatari men aged 25–60 years who were married for more than 1 year. A total of 1,165 men were approached and only 857 men gave consent, giving a response rate of 73.6%.


Face-to-face interviews were based on a questionnaire that included variables on socio-demographic characteristics, type of infertility in men, life style habits, type of environmental exposures, and common diseases found among infertile men. All studied men were recruited using cluster random sampling at 13 randomly selected primary health care centers at the Hamad Medical Corporation.


The prevalence of infertility in Qatari T2DM men was 35.1%. The prevalence of primary infertility (16%) and secondary infertility (19.1%) was significantly higher in diabetic men (P = 0.003) as compared to non-diabetic men. Also, secondary infertility was higher than primary infertility in our studied Qatari diabetic men. Half of the diabetic infertile men were overweight (50.6%) and 29.1% of them were obese. The smoking habit was more common in diabetic infertile men (45.6%) than in diabetic fertile men (33.6%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis confirmed that age (P < 0.001), smoking habits (ex-smokers, P = 0.003 and current smokers, P = 0.001) and obesity (P < 0.001) were the significant major contributors for infertility in diabetic men. Obesity was the leading contributor for the infertility. Other co-morbid factors associated with infertility in diabetic men were hypertension, erectile dysfunction, and varicocele.


The present study findings revealed that there is a strong association between male infertility and Diabetes Mellitus. In Qatari diabetic men, male infertility is high and a significant public health problem in Qatar. The study results confirmed a strong association between T2DM and infertility in Qatari men.

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This work was funded by Qatar Diabetic Association and Qatar Foundation. The project was supported and approved by Ethical Review Committee at Hamad Medical Corporation, Project ID (7085/2007), Doha, the State of Qatar.

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Correspondence to Abdulbari Bener.

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Bener, A., Al-Ansari, A.A., Zirie, M. et al. Is male fertility associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus?. Int Urol Nephrol 41, 777 (2009).

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  • Prevalence
  • Male infertility
  • Risk factors
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Qatar