Yes, this finding is important , but what should be also noted is this sentence in the article: "He also noted that it may not be a disease itself, but the treatment for the disease, that's actually responsible for reproductive malfunction." It has been known for decades that men's sperm is affected by environmental chemicals (such as pesticides), alcohol, smoking, and medications. So it's important to figure out if it's the medicine or the health condition that's causing the problem - or perhaps it's both. From Science Daily:
A study of men who were evaluated for the cause of their infertility finds previously unknown relationships between deficiencies in their semen and other, seemingly unrelated health problems. A study of more than 9,000 men with fertility problems has revealed a correlation between the number of different defects in a man's semen and the likelihood that the man has other health problems.
The study, conducted by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine, also links poor semen quality to a higher chance of having various specific health conditions, such as hypertension, and more generally to skin and endocrine disorders....A study Eisenberg co-authored a few years ago showed that infertile men had higher rates of overall mortality, as well as mortality linked to heart problems, in the years following an infertility evaluation.
In the new study, Eisenberg and his colleagues analyzed the medical records of 9,387 men, mostly between 30 and 50 years old, who had been evaluated at Stanford Hospital & Clinics (now Stanford Health Care) between 1994 and 2011 to determine the cause of their infertility. ...So, using the database, the investigators were able to compare the overall health status of men who had semen defects to that of the men who didn't.
With a median age of 38, this was a fairly young group of men. However, 44 percent of all the men had some additional health problem besides the fertility problem that brought them to the clinic. In particular, the investigators found a substantial link between poor semen quality and specific diseases of the circulatory system, notably hypertension, vascular disease and heart disease.
In addition, as the number of different kinds of defects in a man's semen rose, so did his likelihood of having a skin disease or endocrine disorder. When looking at the severity of all health problems, the scientists observed a statistically significant connection between the number of different ways in which a man's semen was deficient and the likelihood of his having a substantial health problem.... He also noted that it may not be a disease itself, but the treatment for the disease, that's actually responsible for reproductive malfunction. He said he is exploring this possibility now.
This article mentions a few of the other issues that are linked with male infertility.While incomplete, at least it mentions smoking, BPA exposure, binge drinking, obesity, and lack of sleep.From Medical Daily:
The following article focused on other links to male infertility. It also discussed an interesting 2012 study that looked at the effects of wearing tight briefs (which heats the genitals) versus boxers on sperm production (hint: briefs had very negative effect). From Five Thirty Eight Science: