Bad Habits Raise Risk of Erectile Dysfunction.
In conducting the study, Dr. Constance G. Bacon of Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, and her colleagues focused on 34,287 men aged 53-90 who have been participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study since 1986. In 2000, the men were asked to rate their past and current ability to have and maintain an erection good enough for intercourse.
After controlling for age, the association was dearest for smoking, which increased by 30% the risk of developing erectile dysfunction in men with or without prostate cancer. The influence of other risk factors differed depending on the presence of prostate cancer.
In men without prostate cancer, obesity was the strongest predictor of erectile dysfunction. Men whose body mass index fell in the highest quintile were 50% more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than were men in the lowest quintile. And men who had more than two alcoholic drinks per day were 10% more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than were those who didn't drink. Men who engaged in physical activity were 10%-20% less likely to develop erectile dysfunction than were their sedentary counterparts.
Dr. Bacon receives research support from Pfizer Inc., maker of sildenafil.