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Statins for Erectile Dysfunction?

Statins for Erectile Dysfunction? Research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session ties statin use with a significant improvement in erectile function.

Researchers hope this new finding will encourage men who need statins to reduce their risk of heart attack to take them.

Investigators explain that erectile dysfunction is common in older men, especially among those with cardiovascular risk factors where cholesterol-lowering statins are frequently prescribed.

Previous research has suggested a negative association between statin therapy and testosterone levels, leading to questions about the effects of these widely used medications on the quality of erection.

In the first meta-analysis of previous studies on erectile dysfunction and statins, researchers identified 11 randomized, controlled trials that measured erectile function using the International Inventory of Erectile Function — a self-administered survey with five questions, each scored on a five-point scale and totaled, with lower values representing poorer sexual function.

Analysis of all 11 studies combined found a statistically significant effect of statins on erectile function in men who had both high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction. Overall, erectile function scores increased by 3.4 points in men who took statins (from 14.0 to 17.4, a 24.3 percent increase).

“The increase in erectile function scores with statins was approximately one-third to one-half of what has been reported with drugs like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra,” said John B. Kostis, M.D., the lead investigator of the study.

“It was larger than the reported effect of lifestyle modification,” Kostis said. “For men with erectile dysfunction who need statins to control cholesterol, this may be an extra benefit.”

Researchers believe that statins may work to improve erectile function by helping blood vessels dilate properly and improving vascular blood flow to the penis, which is often restricted in men with erectile dysfunction.

While statins are not recommended as a primary treatment for erectile dysfunction in patients with healthy cholesterol levels, the added benefit may encourage more men who need statins to take them.

“Millions of Americans are prescribed statins to prevent heart disease, but some stop taking the medication or take less than the prescribed dose,” Kostis said.

“Rather than preventing the possibility of a heart attack in the future, the more immediate benefit of improving erectile function might improve adherence to statin therapy,” he added.

Erectile dysfunction affects an estimated 18 million to 30 million men and occurs more often in men over the age of 40.

Common causes include heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, depression, and stress.

Kostis said that larger randomized controlled trials are needed to further investigate the link between statin therapy and erectile function.

This study has been published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Source: American College of Cardiology

Statins for 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). Statins for Erectile Dysfunction?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/31/statins-for-erectile-dysfunction/67883.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.