STANFORD (CBS SF) – Men who are found to be infertile also carry an increased risk of dying sooner than men with no problems reproducing, a Stanford University School of Medicine study has found.

Lead author of study, Dr. Michael Eisenberg, said his findings show a similar risk to those carried by smokers and diabetics.

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“We’re seeing the same doubled risk with male infertility, which is relatively understudied,” Eisenberg said report from the School of Medicine.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, tracked men aged 20 to 50 over a decade and a half at Stanford Hospitals and Baylor University medical facilities. Comparing sperm quality characteristics including count, motility and shape, survival rate was monitored in following years.

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“We were able to determine with better than 90 percent accuracy who died during that follow-up time,” Eisenberg said. “There was an inverse relationship. In the years following their evaluation, men with poor semen quality had more than double the mortality rate of those who didn’t.”

No single semen abnormality was pulled out as a mortality indicator, but men with two or more observed factors had more than double the risk of death over the follow up period after their original diagnosis.

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Read more on the findings from the Stanford School of Medicine.