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Vices Increase Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) implicates obesity and smoking as associated with a greater risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) while regular physical exercise appears to lower the risk of ED.

The study examined the links between ED and smoking, obesity, alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle. The findings will appear in the July 2006 issue of The Journal of Urology.

The researchers, led by Constance Bacon, a former post-doctoral fellow at HSPH, and Eric Rimm , associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, surveyed 22,086 healthy subjects between the ages of 40 and 75 from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who reported good or very good erectile function and no major chronic disease before 1986. Among the participants, 17.7 percent (3,905) reported new onset of ED between 1986 and 2000. The researchers adjusted the results to take into account those with and without prostate cancer during the follow-up period, since prostate cancer treatments, such as radiation or surgery, may lead to ED.

The results showed that both smoking and obesity were associated with a higher risk of the development of ED among previously healthy men with good erectile function. The researchers also found that regular physical activity showed a strong inverse association with ED risk. “We found a 2.5-fold difference in risk of ED when we compared obese men who did little exercise with men who were not overweight and averaged 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.
(Obesity was defined as a body mass index of more than 30 kilograms in weight divided by the square of height in meters.) For men younger than 55 there was a 4-fold difference in risk for the same comparison,” said Rimm. Alcohol consumption did not increase the risk of ED. In general, men without prostate cancer showed stronger associations with these lifestyle factors than those with prostate cancer.

These results suggest that ED and coronary heart disease may share many of the same risk factors. Rimm said the results should encourage men to follow a more healthy lifestyle. “Many men may choose not to change to a healthier lifestyle, which includes exercise and a prudent diet, because they perceive heart disease as something that may only develop decades in the future. Hopefully, these results will help to motivate men to adopt a more active lifestyle to avoid a problem which may be more immediate,” he said.

(The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study was launched in 1986 to examine diet and chronic disease among male health professionals in the U.S.)

The study was supported by Pfizer, Inc., and by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Vices Increase Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Vices Increase Risk of Erectile Dysfunction. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/06/28/vices-increase-risk-of-erectile-dysfunction/50.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.