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Study Shows Significant Decline in Sperm Counts Globally

Dr Rohit Bhaskar
Dr Rohit Bhaskar
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Scientists have published the first meta-analysis to demonstrate declining sperm counts among men from South and Central America, Asia, and Africa. 

The international team was led by Professor Hagai Levine of Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Braun School of Public Health, with Prof. Shanna Swan at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York, along with researchers in Denmark, Brazil, Spain, Israel, and the USA.

Image Credit: iStock

Alarmingly, this study also shows that the decline in sperm counts in North America, Europe, and Australia—reported by this team in 2017—has continued and even accelerated in the 21st century. Sperm count is not just an indicator of human fertility either, it is also an indicator of men’s health overall. 

In fact, low levels are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer, and a decreased lifespan. The decline reflects a global crisis related to our modern environment and lifestyle, with broad implications for the survival of the human species, according to the authors.


“Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries” by Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Maya Jolles, Rachel Pinotti and Shanna H Swan, 15 November 2022, Human Reproduction Update.

DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dmac035

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