Sun. Jul 21st, 2019

Diabetes could play a role in infertility, scientists warn

Scientists have warned that diabetes could contribute to infertility in both men and women and that both sexes are at equal risk.

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases that affects millions of people around the world. Studies have indicated that diabetes in men damages DNA of the sperm and leads to reduced number of sperm as well as reduced motility. On the other hand, diabetes in women is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other autoimmune diseases that can lead to infertility

Scientists have estimated that infertility affects up to 15 per cent of reproductive-aged couples worldwide. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), the overall prevalence of primary infertility in India is between 3.9 per cent to 16.8 per cent.

By 2030, nearly 98 million people in India may have Type-2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal last year.

While diabetic patients can always try parenthood, the risk of passing on the sugar disease to the child is approximately 50 per cent high.

High diabetes can be risky for both mother and child. The experts suggest that maintaining a good lifestyle, an ideal body weight, keeping sugars within target range, avoiding smoking and alcohol and excessive work related stress are some of the preventive measures.

Besides infertility, diabetes can also raise the risk of cardiovascular and lung disease, arthritis, osteoporosis. An estimated 3.4 million deaths are caused due to high blood sugar, according to the WHO.

The global health body also estimates that 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle-income countries and projects that such deaths will double between 2016 and 2030.