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Risk of testicular cancer in subfertile men: case-control study

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:559
  1. Henrik Møller, head (cerefo{at},
  2. ESkakkebæk Niels, professor.b
  1. Centre for Research in Health and Social Statistics, Danish National Research Foundation, Sejrøgade 11, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark,
  2. Department of Growth and Reproduction, National University Hospital, Copenhagen
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Møller
  • Accepted 5 January 1999


Abstract Objective: To evaluate the association between subfertility in men and the subsequent risk of testicular cancer.

Design: Population based case-control study.

Setting: The Danish population.

Participants: Cases were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry; controls were randomly selected from the Danish population with the computerised Danish Central Population Register. Men were interviewed by telephone; 514men with cancer and 720controls participated.

Outcome measure: Occurrence of testicular cancer.

Results: A reduced risk of testicular cancer was associated with paternity (relative risk 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 0.85). In men who before the diagnosis of testicular cancer had a lower number of children than expected on the basis of their age, the relative risk was 1.98(1.43to 2.75). There was no corresponding protective effect associated with a higher number of children than expected. The associations were similar for seminoma and non-seminomaand were not influenced by adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Conclusion: These data are consistent with the hypothesis that male subfertility and testicular cancer share important aetiological factors.


    • Accepted 5 January 1999
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