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Urban Planning, Environment and Health

Air Pollution and Sperm Quality


Funded by
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. Instituto de Salud Juan Carlos III. Unión Europea. Este proyecto está cofinanciado por el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER). “Una manera de hacer Europa” Total Funding

Our objective is to study the association between air pollution and sperm quality. We will analyse it prospectively in the first 250 men (patients or patient's partners) who attend the fertility clinic, comply with the inclusion criteria and accept to participate in the study. Participants should live in Barcelona and will be recruited in two different fertility clinics: Hospital del Mar (public hospital) and Centro de Infertilidad y Reproducción Humana (CIRH- private clinic).

Participants will provide four semen samples, blood and urine and will complete a detailed questionnaire. We will analyse classic sperm parameters plus DNA fragmentation, % apoptosis, % vitality, oxidative stress and % of diploidies (by flux cytometer). We will assess air pollution exposure, at individual level (at home and work addresses), at different time frames before sampling. Air pollution exposure models from the European project ESCAPE (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects) will be used.

Effects of nitrogen oxides (NOx), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter with a diameter inferior to 10 microns (PM10), inferior to 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and PM10 elements will be assessed. The statistical analysis will be adapted to each seminal parameter taking into account their kind of distribution, and will be performed for each predefined window of exposure. In any case mixed models will be used to take into account the random effect for each individual and potential confounders will also be considered.

Total Funding

74.415,00 euros

Project Code



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