by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new peer-reviewed study by Israeli and US scientists shows that sperm counts worldwide have fallen by 62 percent since 1973, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
Published on Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the study was led by Prof. Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Shanna Swan of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine.
The study’s finding is a matter of concern, especially because a low sperm count is considered an indication of poor health in men: low counts are associated with increased risk of disease, testicular cancer, and reduced life expectancy, TOI reports.
“We should be amazed and worried by the finding,” Prof. Hagai Levine told TOI. “The trend of decline is very clear. This is a remarkable finding and I feel responsible to deliver it to the world. The decline is both very real and appears to be accelerating,” Levine said.
Levine added that research shows fertility begins to decrease when sperm counts fall below 40 million per milliliter, TOI reports. At the current pace of decrease, this level of sperm count will be the worldwide average in 10 years.
“What is more, we’re looking at averages, and if men are today averaging 50 million sperm per milliliter, there are large numbers of men who today have under 40 million sperm per milliliter — in other words, fertility that is actually suboptimal,” Levine said.