Something in the Finnish lifestyle seems to make its male population the most fertile in the world.
An earlier study in WDDTY (vol 4, no 5) found that, although there has been a worldwide fall in male fertility over the past 50 years, men in Finland have some of the highest sperm counts recorded.
Following this previous finding, researchers from the Department of Medical Biology, University of Turku in Finland looked at six earlier studies of semen quality in a total of 849 Finnish men. They found: "The mean sperm count of the Finnish men was nearly double that of men worldwide. Even more pronounced was the difference in total sperm count. .
No significant decrease in sperm counts was evident in the last two to three decades."
Among Finnish men, sperm counts were highest from those from the rural lake district. Testicular cancer rates are also low in rural Finnish areas, at 10 cases per million, compared with 30 cases per million in big cities.
"These findings strongly suggest that urban lifestyle or other environmental factors may be important in the aetiology of testicular malfunction and disease," they conclude.