New Study Links Type 2 Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction
New research suggests a link between a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Previous reports of a link between ED and diabetes have been anecdotal only, and not properly tested until now, say researchers behind the new, large-scale study.
“That may mean that if people can reduce their risk of diabetes through healthier lifestyles, they may also avoid developing erectile dysfunction,” said Dr Anna Murray, of the University of Exeter Medical School, a co-lead author on the study.
Until recently, erectile dysfunction — that is, the inability to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity — was associated with neurological, hormonal and vascular factors. It was only a little while ago that researchers, for the first time, discovered genetic factors are also responsible for erectile dysfunction.
The new study, led by the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, looked at data from more than 220,000 men, 6,000 of whom experienced erectile dysfunction. The researchers looked at the relationship between metabolism and metabolic disorders, like diabetes, and ED, finding genetic evidence that type 2 diabetes could be one of factor for ED. However, they say it is way too soon to determine whether diabetes causes erectile dysfunction.
While the findings suggests lifestyle changes might help some men prevent or overcome erectile dysfunction, as such changes prevent or help manage diabetes, very few clinical trials have found this to be true, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn about whether treatment of diabetes is likely to have an impact on erectile dysfunction risk.
“Our finding is important as diabetes is preventable and indeed one can now achieve ‘remission’ from diabetes with weight loss, as illustrated in recent clinical trials,” said another lead author, Dr Michael Holmes, of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford.