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Abstract

Volume 24, Issue 6 (November 2022) 24, 594–600; 10.4103/aja20221

Association of handgrip strength with semen characteristics: a study with repeated measurements among healthy Chinese men

Bin Sun1, Heng-Gui Chen1, Peng Duan2, Zhou-Zheng Tu1, Ying-Jun Chen1, Tian-Qing Meng3,4, Cheng-Liang Xiong3,4, Yi-Xin Wang1,5, An Pan1

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430000, China
2 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Xiangyang No.1 People's Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Xiangyang 441100, China
3 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430000, China
4 Hubei Province Human Sperm Bank, Wuhan 430000, China
5 Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Correspondence: Dr. YX Wang (wangyx0203@163.com) or Dr. A Pan (panan@hust.edu.cn)

Date of Submission 05-Oct-2021 Date of Acceptance 07-Feb-2022 Date of Web Publication 05-Apr-2022

Abstract

Accumulating epidemiological evidence shows that handgrip strength provides predictive potential in physical, mental, and reproductive health status. However, the associations between handgrip strength and semen characteristics have not been explored. We recruited 1382 eligible men at the Hubei Province Human Sperm Bank (Wuhan, China) who had their handgrip strength measured at recruitment and provided 6458 repeated semen specimens within a 6-month period. Semen characteristics, including semen volume, sperm motility parameters (immotility, nonprogressive motility, and progressive motility), and sperm concentration, were assessed. Mixed-effect models and restricted cubic spline functions were applied to investigate the relationship of handgrip strength with repeated measurements of semen characteristics. After adjusting for confounding factors, the mixed-effect models revealed that handgrip strength was positively associated with semen volume, sperm concentration, progressive motility, total motility, and total count (all P for trend < 0.05). Compared to men in the lowest quartile, those in the highest quartile of handgrip strength had higher semen volume, sperm concentration, progressive motility, total motility, and total count, with measurements of 14.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.9%–23.2%), 19.5% (95% CI: 7.3%‒33.1%), 9.5% (95% CI: 3.4%‒15.9%), 8.8% (95% CI: 3.2%‒14.6%), and 36.4% (95% CI: 18.9%‒56.5%), respectively. These positive dose-response relationships were further confirmed in restricted cubic splines, where handgrip strength was modeled as a continuous variable. Handgrip strength, as an indicator of muscular function and strength, was positively associated with semen characteristics in a dose-dependent manner.

Keywords: epidemiology; handgrip strength; repeated measurements; semen characteristics

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