Lung function tied to erectile health in men
An impaired forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) appears to correlate with erectile dysfunction (ED) independently of other classic risk factors, a recent study has found.
The study included 331 men (mean age, 56±6 years) who were free of a history of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or kidney diseases. The main outcome was ED and was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). FEV1 was measured through mini-spirometry under the guidance of a study nurse.
Sixty-six percent (n=219) of the participants had normal predicted FEV1 values, while 23 percent (n=75) and 11 percent (n=37) had mild and moderate impairments. Five patients (2 percent) had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while four (1 percent) had a history of asthma. Fifty-nine participants (18 percent) had moderate-to-severe ED.
Researchers uncovered a link between the impaired predicted FEV1 and moderate-to-severe ED (odds ratio [OR], 2.66, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.18–5.99; p=0.026).
For instance, in men with FEV1 between 1.0–2.0 L/s, the risk of ED was increased by almost fivefold (OR, 4.88, 95 percent CI, 1.39–17.12). In those with predicted FEV1 51–60 percent, the corresponding risk was over four times as high (OR, 4.07, 95 percent CI, 1.19–13.9).
“Since this is the first study to report the association between decreased pulmonary function and ED in apparently healthy men, the biological background can only be hypothesized,” the researchers said. Nevertheless, the findings underscore the importance of monitoring for sexual and erectile health in men with weak lung function.