The relationship between major dietary patterns and fertility status in iranian men: a case–control study

Farahnaz Haeri, Makan Pourmasoumi, Reza Ghiasvand, Awat Feizi, Amin Salehi-Abargouei, Laleh Dehghan Marvast, Cain C.T. Clark, Masoud Mirzaei

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    In this case–control study, we aimed to investigate the association between major dietary patterns and fertility status in Iranian men. The study population included 400 newly diagnosed infertile men and 537 healthy individuals without a history of infertility in Yazd, Iran. Infertility was confirmed clinically, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Dietary intake was assessed using a 168-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and dietary patterns were determined based on a principal component analysis. Four major dietary patterns were found in this study, including healthy, Western, mixed, and traditional dietary patterns. After adjustments for potential confounders, men above the median of a healthy dietary pattern showed a reduced risk of infertility compared to those below the median (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.33–0.83). In contrast, men with greater adherence to Western and mixed dietary patterns were more likely to be infertile (OR 2.66; 95% CI 1.70–4.17 and OR 2.82; 95% CI 1.75–4.56, respectively). Also, there was no significant association between the traditional dietary pattern and the odds of infertility. The present study suggests that greater adherence to a healthy dietary pattern may have an inverse association with the odds of infertility; however, Western and mixed dietary patterns may be associated with an increased risk of infertility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number18861
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit


    This study was supported by a grant from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

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