The effect of childhood obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases on testicular growth is uncertain. Researchers from the University of Catania in Sicily conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study on children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years who were sent to the Unit of Pediatric Endocrinology for body weight control.
The researchers gathered information on testicular volume, age, BMI, and insulin resistance from 268 children and adolescents. They discovered that boys of normal weight had 1.5 times the testicular volume of those who were overweight or obese at peripubertal age.
Children and adolescents in the study with normal insulin levels had 1.5-2 times more testicular volume than those with hyperinsulinemia, a disease commonly linked with type 2 diabetes in which individuals have greater insulin levels in their blood. Overweight or obese people, as well as those with hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance, have lower testicular volume than healthy people. Because smaller testicular volume predicts poorer sperm production in adulthood, the researchers believe that losing weight may help patients prevent infertility later in life.
Impact of Childhood Obesity on Testicular Growth and Future Reproductive Health
“Although the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing worldwide, the impact of obesity and associated metabolic disorders on testicular growth is not well known,” said Rossella Cannarella, one of the authors of the paper. “In this study, we found that being overweight or obese was associated with a lower peri-pubertal testicular volume. In addition, obesity-related comorbidities, such as hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, have been found to influence testicular volume in pre- and post-puberty. Therefore, we speculate that more careful control of body weight in childhood could represent a prevention strategy for maintaining testicular function later in life.’
- Testicular volume in 268 children and adolescents followed-up for childhood obesitya retrospective cross-sectional study – (https:academic.oup.com/ejendo/article/188/4/331/7106271?login=false)
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