Association between leptin, obesity, hormonal interplay and male infertility
Male infertility is a major health problem worldwide. We investigated a possible association between leptin, obesity, hormonal interplay and male infertility. This cross-sectional study of 313 males (178 infertile and 135 fertile) was carried out in 2017. The subjects were categorised by body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage (BF%) into normal weight, overweight and obese. Significantly higher levels of BMI and BF% (p-value < 0.001) and lower levels of FSH, LH, testosterone, and SHBG (p-value < 0.001) were found in infertile males. However, no significant difference was observed in leptin levels (p-value = 0.35). Leptin levels were significantly higher, and all the sex hormones were significantly lower (p-value < 0.001) in obese subjects, whereas according to BF% only leptin, FSH and SHBG were significantly different. Leptin showed a significant positive correlation with BMI and BF% (p < 0.001). A strong positive link to serum testosterone was found with age, FSH, and LH (p < 0.001) and a negative one with BMI and BF% (p < 0.001). In mutivariable anlaysis, after adjusting for the other covariates, a significant association between FSH and testosterone (p-value <0.001) was found. Serum leptin levels did not differ significantly in fertile and infertile groups, and no association was found with infertility. Furthermore, male obesity was found to be associated with infertility with the decrease in levels of sex hormones.