High cholesterol ‘linked to lower fertility’

28 May 2014

High levels of cholesterol could diminish fertility in couples trying to conceive, according to a collaborative study from the National Institutes of Health, the University at Buffalo and Emory University.

Enrique Schisterman, lead author of the research, said: "We've long known that high cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart disease. 
"In addition to safeguarding their health, our results suggest that couples wishing to achieve pregnancy could improve their chances by first ensuring that their cholesterol levels are in an acceptable range."

For the study, 501 couples not being treated for infertility were analysed from 2005 to 2009. The women involved were aged between 18 and 44 and the men were over 18. They were followed until pregnancy or for up to one year of trying.

The findings revealed that couples with equally high cholesterol took the longest amount of time to achieve a successful pregnancy. In addition, if the woman’s levels were higher than her male partner’s then it also took more time to conceive.

In their analysis, researchers accounted for potential racial differences, as well as age, body mass index and education dissimilarities. 

Posted by Philip Briggs

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