Although erectile dysfunction is frequently seen in patients with manifestations of arteriosclerotic disease, the independent contribution of serum cholesterol in predicting erectile dysfunction is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between serum cholesterol and erectile dysfunction. Medical histories, physical examinations, and blood tests were obtained at Cooper Clinic, Dallas, Texas, from 3,250 men aged 26-83 years (mean, 51 years) without erectile dysfunction at their first visit, who had one more clinic visit, all between 1987 and 1991. These men were followed 6-48 months after the first clinic visit (mean, 22 months). Erectile dysfunction was reported in 71 men (2.2%) during follow-up. Every mmol/liter of increase in total cholesterol was associated with 1.32 times the risk of erectile dysfunction (95% confidence interval 1.04-1.68), while every mmol/liter of increase in high density lipoprotein cholesterol was associated with 0.38 times the risk (95% confidence interval 0.18-0.80). Men with a high density lipoprotein cholesterol measurement over 1.55 mmol/liter (60 mg/dl) had 0.30 times the risk (95% confidence interval 0.09-1.03) as did men with less than 0.78 mmol/liter (30 mg/dl). Men with total cholesterol over 6.21 mmol/liter (240 mg/dl) had 1.83 times the risk (95% confidence interval 1.00-3.37) as did men with less than 4.65 mmol/liter (180 mg/dl). Those differences remained essentially unchanged after adjustment for other potential confounders. The authors conclude that a high level of total cholesterol and a low level of high density lipoprotein cholesterol are important risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual problem in men. The incidence increases with age and affects up to one third of men throughout their lives. It causes a substantial negative impact on intimate relationships, quality of life, and self-esteem. History and physical examination are sufficient to make a diagnosis of ED in most cases, because there is no preferred, first-line diagnostic test. Initial diagnostic workup should usually be limited to a fasting serum glucose level and lipid panel, thyroid-stimulating hormone test, and morning total testosterone level. First-line therapy for ED consists of lifestyle changes, modifying drug therapy that may cause ED, and pharmacotherapy with phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking greatly increase the risk of ED. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are the most effective oral drugs for treatment of ED, including ED associated with diabetes mellitus, spinal cord injury, and antidepressants. Intraurethral and intracavernosal alprostadil, vacuum pump devices, and surgically implanted penile prostheses are alternative therapeutic options when phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors fail. Testosterone supplementation in men with hypogonadism improves ED and libido, but requires interval monitoring of hemoglobin, serum transaminase, and prostate-specific antigen levels because of an increased risk of prostate adenocarcinoma. Cognitive behavior therapy and therapy aimed at improving relationships may help to improve ED. Screening for cardiovascular risk factors should be considered in men with ED, because symptoms of ED present on average three years earlier than symptoms of coronary artery disease. Men with ED are at increased risk of coronary, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular diseases.
Multiple sclerosis, an idiopathic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, is characterized pathologically by demyelination and subsequent axonal degeneration. The disease commonly presents in young adults and affects twice as many women as men. Common presenting symptoms include numbness, weakness, visual impairment, loss of balance, dizziness, urinary bladder urgency, fatigue, and depression. The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis should be made by a physician with experience in identifying the disease. Diagnosis should be based on objective evidence of two or more neurologic signs that are localized to the brain or spinal cord and are disseminated in time and space (i.e., occur in different parts of the central nervous system at least three months apart). Magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium contrast, especially during or following a first attack, can be helpful in providing evidence of lesions in other parts of the brain and spinal cord. A second magnetic resonance scan may be useful at least three months after the initial attack to identify new lesions and provide evidence of dissemination over time. It is critical to exclude other diseases that can mimic multiple sclerosis, including vascular disease, spinal cord compression, vitamin B12 deficiency, central nervous system infection (e.g., Lyme disease, syphilis), and other inflammatory conditions (e.g., sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome). Symptom-specific drugs can relieve spasticity, bladder dysfunction, depression, and fatigue. Five disease-modifying treatments for multiple sclerosis have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These treatments are partially effective in reducing exacerbations and may slow progression of disability.
PURPOSE: We determined that use of a statin drug to lower cholesterol would improve erectile function in men who have hypercholesterolemia as the only risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 18 men were determined to have increased cholesterol as the only risk factor for ED by history, system review, physical examination and laboratory analysis. Nine of these men agreed to participate in the study. Organic ED was verified by abnormal nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing with the RigiScan (UroHealth Systems, Inc., Laguna Niguel, California) and Sexual Health Inventory in Men questionnaire. Subjects were given atorvastatin with a goal decrease of total cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dl and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to less than 120 mg/dl. RigiScan measurements were compared before and after treatment with atrovastatin.
RESULTS: Mean age +/- SD was 49.7 +/- 7.4 years. Mean length of treatment with atrorvastatin was 3.7 +/- 2.1 months. Clinically 8 of the 9 men had improved erection adequate for penetration during sexual intercourse. Mean questionnaire scores improved from 14.2 to 20.7 (p <0.001). Mean total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly after treatment (p <0.001). RigiScan measurements showed an increased average penile rigidity at the base (p <0.001) and tip (p <0.005) after treatment with atorvastatin.
CONCLUSIONS: Erectile function improves in men with hypercholesterolemia as the only risk factor for ED when treated with atorvastatin. Treating hypercholesterolemia may improve ED, while promoting primary cardiac prevention.
Context: Healthy lifestyle factors are associated with maintenance of erectile function in men.
Objective: To determine the effect of weight loss and increased physical activity on erectile and endothelial functions in obese men.
Design, Setting, and Patients: Randomized, single-blind trial of 110 obese men (body mass index ≥30) aged 35 to 55 years, without diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia, who had erectile dysfunction that was determined by having a score of 21 or less on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). The study was conducted from October 2000 to October 2003 at a university hospital in Italy.
Interventions: The 55 men randomly assigned to the intervention group received detailed advice about how to achieve a loss of 10% or more in their total body weight by reducing caloric intake and increasing their level of physical activity. Men in the control group (n = 55) were given general information about healthy food choices and exercise.
Main Outcomes: Measures Erectile function score, levels of cholesterol and tryglycerides, circulating levels of interleukin 6, interleukin 8, and C-reactive protein, and endothelial function as assessed by vascular responses to L-arginine.
Results: After 2 years, body mass index decreased more in the intervention group (from a mean [SD] of 36.9 [2.5] to 31.2 [2.1]) than in the control group (from 36.4 [2.3] to 35.7 [2.5]) (P<.001), as did serum concentrations of interleukin 6 (P = .03), and C-reactive protein (P = .02). The mean (SD) level of physical activity increased more in the intervention group (from 48  to 195  min/wk; P<.001) than in the control group (from 51  to 84  min/wk; P<.001). The mean (SD) IIEF score improved in the intervention group (from 13.9 [4.0] to 17 ; P<.001), but remained stable in the control group (from 13.5 [4.0] to 13.6 [4.1]; P = .89). Seventeen men in the intervention group and 3 in the control group (P = .001) reported an IIEF score of 22 or higher. In multivariate analyses, changes in body mass index (P = .02), physical activity (P = .02), and C-reactive protein (P = .03) were independently associated with changes in IIEF score.
Conclusion: Lifestyle changes are associated with improvement in sexual function in about one third of obese men with erectile dysfunction at baseline.
The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of sildenafil in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) and associated organic risk factors in a multispecialty clinic. Patients (n = 521) were diagnosed with ED based on self-assessment. Associated risk factors were managed by medication or life-style modifications, or both, before treatment with sildenafil for ED. Patients received a 50-mg dose of sildenafil that could be adjusted to 100 mg or 25 mg based on tolerability and efficacy. Patients recorded the number of successful intercourse encounters for 6 to 8 weeks, and the number of adverse events. Overall, there was an 82% successful intercourse rate with sildenafil treatment. The predominant associated risk factors for ED were hypertension (39%), hypogonadism (37%), and multiple medications (34%). Common adverse events due to sildenafil treatment were mild to moderate in nature and resulted in <2% patient discontinuation. Clinicians should be particularly careful to evaluate patients presenting with ED because the condition can be accompanied by a wide spectrum of risk factors requiring monitoring and treatment. However, with adequate treatment and control of these risk factors, the use of sildenafil in a representative population of men with ED in a multispecialty clinic can achieve a higher efficacy rate than previous studies have indicated.