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As Health Improves, So Do Sexual Functioning, Quality of Life

A recently published study shows that reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors can significantly improve sexual functioning and quality of life among men.

Experts discovered that erectile dysfunction, a risk factor for atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, can be modified by lifestyle modifications and pharmaceutical treatment.

Additional risks for cardiovascular disease that a person can change on their own include hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, cigarette smoking, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and sedentary behavior.

Researchers analyzed six previous randomized controlled trials from four countries to evaluate the effects of lifestyle intervention and pharmaceutical treatment of cardiovascular risk factors on the severity of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Study findings are published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers have learned that erectile dysfunction is common among individuals with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. ED may serve as the sentinel marker for cardiovascular disease — that is, erectile dysfunction may be the first sign of the problem.

The six trials examined in the meta-analysis included a total of 740 participants, with the number of participants per trial ranging from 12 to 372. Average age of the participants was 55.4 years and the study duration ranged from 12 to 104 weeks.

All studies included in the analysis showed improvement in ED with lifestyle changes and improvement in blood lipid parameters.

The authors found that improvement in cardiovascular risk factors was associated with statistically significant improvement in sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction.

Lifestyle modifications alone (without use of pharmaceuticals) significantly improved sexual function. Pharmaceutical treatment targeting cardiovascular risk factors also demonstrated improvement in sexual function.

“In summary, this study further strengthens the evidence of improvement in ED and maintenance of sexual function with lifestyle intervention and cardiovascular risk factor reduction,” the authors write.

“Men with ED provide an opportunity to identify cardiovascular risk factors and initiate lifestyle changes.”

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

As Health Improves, So Do Sexual Functioning, Quality of Life

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. (2018). As Health Improves, So Do Sexual Functioning, Quality of Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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