Vasectomy and cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background:

Even though several studies comparing vasectomy and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk have been reported, most are small series with conflicting results. However, the extent of the risk is still uncertain. We therefore explored whether an association exists between vasectomy and CVD incidence and mortality.

Methods:

We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases for relevant studies published before January 2017. Multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and those by subgroups were extracted and pooled using random-effects models.

Results:

Overall, 12 observational studies (2 cross-sectional studies, 4 case–control studies, and 6 retrospective cohort studies) comprising 299,436 participants were identified. There was no statistically significant relationship between vasectomy and CVD risk (OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.81–1.00). Moreover, vasectomy was not associated with CVD mortality (OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.81–1.00), coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence (OR: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.88–1.01), stroke incidence (OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.72–1.13), and myocardial infarction (MI) incidence (OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.88–1.02), with no significant publication bias. In subgroup analyses, the findings on the association between vasectomy and CVD risk were consistent.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that vasectomy is not associated with the excess risk of CVD incidence and mortality. Nevertheless, large-volume, well-designed observational studies, with different ethnic populations, low risk of bias, and adjusted confounding factors, are awaited to confirm and update the findings of this analysis.

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