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Serum inhibin-b in fertile men is strongly correlated with low but not high sperm counts: a coordinated study of 1,797 European and US men
Fertility and sterility
  • N. Jorgensen
  • F. Liu
  • A. M. Andersson
  • M. Vierula
  • D. S. Irvine
  • J. Auger
  • C. K. Brazil
  • E. Z. Drobnis
  • T. K. Jensen
  • P. Jouannet
  • J. W. Overstreet
  • J. B. Redmon
  • Amy E.T. Sparks, University of Iowa
  • J. Toppari
  • C. Wang
  • N. E. Skakkebaek
  • S. H. Swan
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date
NLM Title Abbreviation
Fertil Steril
PubMed ID
DOI of Published Version
OBJECTIVE: To describe associations between serum inhibin-b and sperm counts, adjusted for effect of time of blood sampling, in larger cohorts than have been previously reported. DESIGN: Cross-sectional studies of spermatogenesis markers. SETTING: Four European and four US centers. PATIENT(S): Fertile men (1,797) were included and examined from October 1996-February 2005. INTERVENTION(S): The study was observational and therefore without any intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Associations between inhibin-b and semen variables controlled for time of blood sampling and other covariates. RESULT(S): Inhibin-b decreased about 2.00% per hour from 8 am-12 pm and then about 3.25% per hour from 12 pm-4 pm. There was a strong positive association between inhibin-b levels less than 150 pg/mL and both sperm concentration and total sperm count (slopes of the regression lines were beta=0.011 and beta=0.013 for natural logarithm-transformed sperm concentration and total sperm count, respectively). For inhibin-b levels of 150-300 pg/mL the associations were not as steep (beta=0.002), but still significant. For inhibin-b levels more than 300 pg/mL there was little association to the sperm counts. Neither sperm motility nor morphology was significantly related to inhibin-b level in any group. CONCLUSION(S): Serum inhibin-b levels decrease nonlinearly during the daytime, and are positively correlated with sperm counts, but the predictive power is best when inhibin-b is low.
  • Adult,
  • Biological Markers/blood,
  • Blood Specimen Collection,
  • Circadian Rhythm/physiology,
  • Cross-Sectional Studies,
  • Europe/epidemiology,
  • Fertility/physiology,
  • Humans,
  • Inhibins/blood,
  • Male,
  • Middle Aged,
  • Oligospermia/blood/diagnosis/epidemiology,
  • Predictive Value of Tests,
  • Sperm Count,
  • Time Factors,
  • United States/epidemiology,
  • Young Adult
Published Article/Book Citation
Fertility and sterility, 94:6 (2010) pp.2128-2134.
Citation Information
N. Jorgensen, F. Liu, A. M. Andersson, M. Vierula, et al.. "Serum inhibin-b in fertile men is strongly correlated with low but not high sperm counts: a coordinated study of 1,797 European and US men" Fertility and sterility Vol. 94 Iss. 6 (2010) p. 2128 - 2134 ISSN: 1556-5653
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