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Obesity leads to erectile dysfunction


Washington : Obesity is likely to render 30 to 40 percent males over 50 years more vulnerable to erectile dysfunction (ED).

The build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries of obese men can damage the arterial lining and contribute to elevated blood pressure (BP). Atherosclerosis is the condition in which an artery wall thickens as the result of a build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol.

Besides atherosclerosis, hormonal changes that accompany obesity, including lower testosterone, increase the risk of ED.

Modifiable risk factors for heart disease, such as excess weight, diabetes, and hypertension, are generally the same as those for ED. Studies have shown that weight loss and increased physical activity can improve ED.

Adam Gilden Tsai from University of Colorado Denver (UC-D) and David Sarwer from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine illustrate these conditions with a mildly obese 48-year-old man with hypertension and ED.

Even with the use of ED medication (tadalafil, Cialis, Eli Lilly), he was not able to achieve an erection adequate for intercourse.

After dietary counselling, a 4.6 percent weight reduction, and medication to lower his BP to within the normal range, the patient was able to achieve adequate erections with the use of ED medication as needed, said an UC-D release.

The authors emphasise that “the complicated interplay of weight and other health conditions relate to common medical symptoms, such as ED. We are reminded that atherosclerosis can cause not only macrovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke, but also microvascular disease, of which ED is one example”.

“If you are looking for another reason to lose weight, research now suggests that erectile dysfunction can be reduced with weight loss,” said James O. Hill, editor-in-chief of Obesity and Weight Management which published the study.