Higher Male Fertility Rate Seen With Inflammatory Arthritis


Men with an inflammatory arthritis (IA) diagnosis are less likely to be childless than healthy comparators, according to an epidemiological study.


  • 10,865 men in the Norwegian Arthritis Registry were compared with 54,325 men without IA, matched by age and location.
  • In the arthritis group, 37% had rheumatoid arthritis, 33% had psoriatic arthritis, and 30% had spondyloarthritis.
  • Researchers used childlessness and number of children as proxies for male fertility.


  • 21% of men with IA were childless compared with 27% in the healthy cohort (P < .001).
  • On an average, a man with IA had 1.80 children whereas a man in the control group had 1.69 children (P < .001).
  • These findings were consistent over time, but the most pronounced difference between groups was seen in men diagnosed after the year 2000.


The finding “is novel and generates new hypotheses regarding associations between fertility, inflammatory rheumatic diseases, and immune-modulating drugs,” the authors wrote.


First author Gudrun David Sigmo, of the department of rheumatology at Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway, and colleagues had their work published online on January 23, 2024, in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases


The analysis relied on administrative data, and researchers did not have data on confounding factors.


The study was funded by the nonprofit organizations Aslaug Anders fond, Astri og Edvard Riisøens legat, Det alminnelige medisinske forskningsfond, Pahles legat, and Fagsenter for medisins-ke kvalitetsregistre i Helse Vest. The authors declared no relevant conflicts of interest.

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