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Nov.-Dec. 2011, Vol. XXVI, No. 6
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Health Briefs
Studies link risk factors, male sexual dysfunction

Men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) may benefit from certain lifestyle changes and medications aimed at reducing risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease, Mayo Clinic researchers say.

Their findings, originally posted on Online First in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on a meta-analysis (an analysis combining results from several studies) of six previous research trials.

The trials involved a total of 740 men from four countries. Average age of participants was approximately 55.

The study reports that men with ED (and men with CV) are more likely to have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity and sedentary behavior

These risk factors are considered modifiable because certain behaviors and prescription drugs may improve them, thereby reducing your risk of ED and CV.

Bhanu P. Gupta, M.D., and other Mayo Clinic researchers found the use of prescription drugs and/or lifestyle changes targeting CV risk factors also resulted in a “statistically significant improvement” in sexual function in men with ED.

“In summary, this study further strengthens the evidence of improvement in ED and maintenance of sexual function with lifestyle intervention and CV risk factor reduction,” authors conclude. “Men with ED provide an opportunity to identify CV risk factors and initiate lifestyle changes.”

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