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Men's health: erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction--which affects about one in every ten American men--can occur at any age and may sometimes be the first sign of circulation problems due to diabetes, high blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.

Diagnosis and treatment of underlying medical problems may help sexual performance. Additional therapies include:

* Oral medications--Prescription drugs sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) help improve response to sexual stimulation by allowing increased blood flow to the penis. Clinical trials show that Cialis is active in the body longer than Viagra. Levitra takes effect somewhat more quickly than does Viagra.

* Vacuum systems--These devices increase circulation to the penis by creating a vacuum within a hollow tube placed over the penis. FDA-approved manual and battery-powered models are available without a prescription.

New research shows that exercise can ward off erectile dysfunction, as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The Harvard study of more than 30,000 health professionals between the ages of 53 and 90 found that the condition increased about 5 percent each year for all men. The problem, however, was notably less common among men who did the equivalent of three hours of running or more each week.
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Publication:Medical Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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