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Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Adams, J, Galloway, TS, Mondal, D, Esteves, SC and Mathews, F 2014, 'Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis' , Environment International, 70 , pp. 106-112.

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Mobile phones are owned by most of the adult population worldwide. Radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from these devices could potentially affect sperm development and function. Around 14% of couples in high- and middle-income countries have difficulty conceiving, and there are unexplained declines in semen quality reported in several countries. Given the ubiquity of mobile phone use, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified. A systematic review was therefore conducted, followed by meta-analysis using random effects models, to determine whether exposure to RF-EMR emitted from mobile phones affects human sperm quality. Participants were from fertility clinic and research centres. The sperm quality outcome measures were motility, viability and concentration, which are the parameters most frequently used in clinical settings to assess fertility. We used ten studies in the meta-analysis, including 1492 samples. Exposure to mobile phones was associated with reduced sperm motility (mean difference −8.1% (95% CI −13.1, −3.2)) and viability (mean difference −9.1% (95% CI −18.4, 0.2)), but the effects on concentration were more equivocal. The results were consistent across experimental in vitro and observational in vivo studies. We conclude that pooled results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality. Further study is required to determine the full clinical implications for both sub-fertile men and the general population.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Environment International
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0160-4120
Related URLs:
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council PhD scholarship
Depositing User: Dr Debapriya Mondal
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 16:55
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015 16:55

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