Sperm DNA Damage In Smokers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Departments of Dermatology and Venereology and 2Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

2 lecturer of dermatology and venereology, faculty of medicine, Tanta University


Background: Cigarette smoking is the largest preventable risk factor for morbidity and mortality in developed countries. It negatively affects male reproduction and fertility. Sperm DNA damage is one of the possible incriminating causes of diminishing fertility potential in smokers as there was a strong evidence of a link between oxidative DNA damage and the chronic complications of smoking. This has potential implications for their reproductive health, particularly given the association between sperm DNA damage and infertility, miscarriage in pregnancies fathered by these men, childhood disease.
Aim: The aim of this work was to assess the integrity of sperm DNA in infertile smoker patients.
Patients and methods: Sperm DNA damage was assessed using flow-cytometry in 30 infertile smoker male patients and 1 5-age matched healthy non-smoker fertile males as a control group.
Results: There was an increase in the DNA fragmentation index (DFI) in smokers when compared with controls. There was a significant positive correlation between DFI with the age of patients, smoking index and duration of smoking. A significant positive correlation between DFI and sperm morphology (abnormal forms %) was found. On the other hand, there was a negative correlation between the DFI and other seminal parameters including semen volume (ml), sperm count (millions/ml) and sperm motility (active progressive%, first hour).
Conclusion: This study suggested that smoking can cause sperm DNA damage that affects the quality of the ejaculated spermatozoa and their fertility potential and pregnancy outcome.