Cancer-linked sperm mutations higher in smokers
Smoking men are at nearly double the risk for cancer-linked sperm mutations than nonsmoking men, according to researchers.
The finding may be related to ``reports of an increased risk of birth defects and childhood cancer in the offspring of smoking fathers,'' according to Dr. Maria Teresa Zenzes and colleagues at The Toronto Hospital Research Center in Ontario, Canada. Their report is published in the August issue of the journal Fertility & Sterility.
Smoking is known to reduce sperm count, as well as the quality and viability of sperm. In their latest study, the Toronto researchers investigated whether mutations linked to benzo(a)pyrene -- a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, charbroiled meats, fuel exhaust, and other sources -- are higher in the sperm of smokers as compared with nonsmokers.