Erectile Dysfunction found to be affected by smoking.




The Journal Of Urology

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Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, may be caused by a variety of endocrine, vascular, neurologic, or psychiatric diseases. Impotence can be associated with testicular failure, drug abuse and alcoholism, diabetes, or kidney disease. It may actually be the presenting symptom in some systemic diseases, or can be a side effect caused by certain medications. It was previously thought that most erectile dysfunction was psychologically based. It is now thought that the majority of men with sexual dysfunction actually have a component of underlying organic disease. Men may present with one or a combination of complaints: loss of libido, inability to initiate or maintain an erection, premature ejaculation, ejaculatory failure, or inability to achieve orgasm. The selection and success of therapy is dependent upon understanding the cause, and thus it is necessary to evaluate all aspects of sexual function. Impotence affects 10 to 15 million American men.1

A recent research review published in the Journal of Urology, investigated the effects of smoking on impotence. The researchers examined studies that were relevant to smoking, erectile dysfunction, and other endothelial diseases. The results indicated that there are strong associations between smoking, erectile dysfunction, coronary artery disease, and atherosclerosis. In the case of erectile dysfunction, evidence indicated that the link may be due to an impairment of the endothelium dependent smooth muscle. Smoking may increase the incidence of moderate or complete impotence by as much as 200%. This investigation also implied that cessation of smoking may decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction. Smoking also appeared to increase risk of impotence in some illnesses such as hypertension and coronary artery disease. While the authors agreed that more research into this link is needed, they concluded that, "the evidence of such an association is likely due to the consistency of the relationship of smoking and endothelial disease, and the strength of the association of erectile dysfunction with other endothelial diseases."2


1. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) / National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). NIH Publication No. 95-3923, September 1995.
2. McVary KT, et al. Smoking and erectile dysfunction: evidence based analysis. The Journal Of Urology. 2001;166:1624-1632.