The link between smoking and erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common public health problem affecting millions of men worldwide. It has a strong negative effect on interpersonal relationships, well being and quality of life. Smoking is a major public health problem Worldwide and its effect on sexual life and ED is an often-used fact in Stop Smoking campaigns. The link between smoking and ED has been discussed in many studies.  Few studies have looked or published findings on the effect of smoking on ED or the effect on ED by stopping smoking. We look at a study that tries to better understand the mechanisms between smoking and ED.


The study we look at uses a population-based follow-up study on randomly selected men who are aged at discrete number of years. Information on the men with impotence looked at a questionnaire to find data on life-style factors, medical conditions and medications, diet, physical activity, erectile capacity and concern about erectile problems. A similar questionnaire was sent out 5 years later.

The sample size was 3000 men. Erectile Dysfunction was defined according to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel on ED as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual function. ED was assessed by two questions: 1) Have you had problems getting an erection before intercourse begins? and; 2) Have you had problems maintaining an erection once intercourse has begun? Self reporting smoking history was also obtained from a questionnaire.  Men were defined as current smokers, if their history of smoking had lasted for at least 1 year, and ex-smokers if they had smoked at least 1 year in their life and were not current smokers, and nonsmokers if they had never smoked or smoked less than 1 year.


Results show and were consistent with the hypothesis that there are two bidirectional relationships between ED and smoking. Those who smoked has a higher risk of ED than nonsmokers, and the men with ED were more likely to start smoking than those free from ED. The estimates of effects were not satisfactorily significant, while they were consistent with each other and with the hypothesis that smoking causes ED and ED causes smoking.

Tags :   Erectile Dysfunction Stop Smoking
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