The relationship between varicoceles and obesity in a young adult population

Chih Wei Tsao, Chien Yeh Hsu, Yu Ching Chou, Sheng Tang Wu, Guang Huan Sun, Dah Shyong Yu, Pao Luo Fan, Hong I. Chen, Sun Yran Chang, Tai Lung Cha

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33 Citations (Scopus)


To determine whether a relationship between obesity and varicocele occurrence exists, the prevalence and severity of varicoceles related to obesity were investigated in a general population of young males. A total of 1050 young males attending the Navy Recruit Training Center were evaluated from their physical screening examinations. All subjects underwent history taking and physical examinations to evaluate for the presence and severity of varicocele. The anthropometric indexes including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were recorded. All subjects were categorized by quartiles according to each anthropometric index. Means were compared with the Student's t-test. Severity was compared by analysis of variance testing and frequency was analysed using the chi-square method. Statistical significance was considered at p 2, 83.20 ± 9.97 cm and 0.85 ± 0.05, respectively. These judged values were greater than those with varicoceles (22.02 ± 3.18 kg\m2, 79.19 ± 9.01 cm and 0.83 ± 0.05) (p <0.001). In the univariate regression analysis, BMI, WC and WHR all had a significantly negative correlation with severity of varicocele (all p <0.001). Analysis comparing varicocele frequency based on each grade per anthropometric index group was performed. The logistic regression revealed that the prevalence of grade II and III varicoceles showed a statistically inverse association with all three anthropometric indexes. The prevalence and severity of varicoceles inversely correlated with obesity. The present data support the explanation that obesity may result in a decreased nutcracker effect, which accounts for prevention of the renal vein compression by the adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Body mass index
  • Varicocele
  • Visceral obesity
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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