Effect of 'PC Game Room' use and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure on plasma testosterone concentrations in young male Koreans

Department of Internal Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Chinsen, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.57). 04/2005; 20(3):598-603. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deh645
Source: PubMed


'PC Game Rooms' were first popularized in Korea, although the concept is now becoming popular worldwide. PC Game Rooms provide users with high-performance PC connected to the high-speed internet, and access to computer games. However, PC Game Room users are exposed to various hazardous agents such as cigarette smoke in a confined environment, and thus it is likely that excessive PC Game Room use involves abnormal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) as well as being associated with disturbed sleep or circadian rhythm.
In this cross-sectional study, the exposure to PAH was evaluated by measuring urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) and 2-naphthol. The correlations between PC Game Room use and PAH exposure and plasma testosterone and LH levels were analysed in 208 young male Koreans.
Urinary 1-OHP concentrations increased (P = 0.0001) and plasma testosterone levels decreased (P = 0.0153) significantly with increased duration of PC Game Room use. Correlation analysis showed that plasma testosterone concentrations were significantly negatively correlated with urinary 1-OHP (r = -0.22, P = 0.0012) and 2-naphthol (r = -0.15, P = 0.0308) concentrations. Moreover, these associations persisted after adjusting for other independent variables. However, the duration of PC Game Room use itself was not found to be an independent significant determinant of plasma testosterone level. Rather, PC Game Room use increased PAH exposure, which decreased plasma testosterone level. The younger age group (15-19 years) showed a more prominent decrease in plasma testosterone concentrations with increasing duration of PC Game Room use than the older age group (20-24 years) (r2 = 0.355, P = 0.0301 versus r2 = 0.213, P = 0.0001).
These results imply that the excessive use of PC Game Rooms is related to an adverse impact on sex hormonal status in young male Koreans via PAH exposure. This effect was more prominent in the younger age group.

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Available from: Seung-Yup Ku, Feb 16, 2015
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