E-cigarettes raise risk of erectile dysfunction

05 Dec 2021
E-cigarettes raise risk of erectile dysfunction

Electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS) or e-cigarettes appear to be detrimental to men, with a recent study suggesting that its use contributes to a heightened risk of erectile dysfunction.

The study used data from the fourth wave of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study. A total of 13,711 adult men aged ≥20 years were included. About half (53 percent) of the population were former cigarette smokers, 21 percent were current cigarette smokers, and 14 percent used other tobacco products. Most participants had no previous diagnosis of diabetes (87.8 percent) or cardiovascular disease (CVD; 85.0 percent).

Researchers evaluated the use of ENDS in relation with the risk of erectile dysfunction within the full sample and in a restricted sample (men aged 20–65 years with no previous cardiovascular disease diagnosis).

The prevalence rates of erectile dysfunction were 20.7 percent in the full sample and 10.2 percent in the age-restricted CVD-free sample. Meanwhile, the prevalence rates of current ENDS use were 4.8 percent (2.1 percent reported daily use) in the full sample and 5.6 percent (2.5 percent reported daily use) in the restricted sample.

Multivariable regression analysis revealed that current daily ENDS use was associated with higher odds of erectile dysfunction compared with nonuse in both the full (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.24, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.50–3.34) and restricted (AOR, 2.41, 95 percent CI, 1.55–3.74) samples.

In the full sample, risk factors for erectile dysfunction included CVD history (AOR, 1.39, 95 percent CI, 1.10–1.77) and age ≥65 years (vs age 20–24 years; AOR, 17.4, 95 percent CI, 12.15–24.91), whereas physical activity exerted a protective effect in both samples (AOR range, 0.44−0.58).

The findings highlight that while ENDS remain under evaluation for harm reduction and smoking-cessation potential, ENDS users should be informed about the possible risk of erectile dysfunction.

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