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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction more likely in men with large waists

Men with large waistlines are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those of slimmer girth, according to new data presented today at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

In a survey of 1,981 men aged 51 to 88, 34 percent reported moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. These men also were more likely to be older, have high blood pressure and to weigh more than their study counterparts.

In fact, after adjusting for age, smoking and hypertension, men with a larger waistline were more likely to suffer from ED. Men with a waistline measuring 42 inches were nearly twice as likely to suffer from ED compared with men whose girth measured 32 inches. The data also showed that men who were inactive were more likely to suffer from ED than men who exercised at least 30 minutes per day.

"Even though ED affects an estimated 30 million American men, little research has been done about how modifiable lifestyle factors may contribute to the condition," said Eric Rimm, Sc.D., of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

"This is study indicates that ED may be correlated with lifestyle factors, reinforcing once again how important adequate exercise and a healthy diet are to overall good health," said Dr. Rimm. "The good news is that these are modifiable risk factors and there are treatments available for ED that can be effective even in men who are struggling with their weight."

The study, which was conducted as a survey in 1998 among a subset of 50,000 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and the American Cancer Society. The presentation of these results was funded in part by a grant from Pfizer Inc.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, approximately 59 per cent of Canadian men between the ages of 15 and 65 are considered overweight (body mass index of 25.0 or higher). Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2). BMI correlates highly with body fat.

"I see men like this in my practice quite often and am encouraged to see this data confirms my observations," said Dr. Gerald Brock, Associate Professor, Division of Urology, University of Western Ontario. "This type of data provides physicians with more proof with which to counsel patients to lose weight, in order to improve their overall health, while at the same time receiving effective ED treatment for those affected," he added.

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 55 million American men over the age of 20 are considered overweight (body mass index of 25.0 or higher). Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2). BMI correlates highly with body fat.

In addition, an expert group convened by the World Health Organization in June 1997 found that overweight and obesity represent a rapidly growing threat to the health of populations in an increasing number of countries worldwide, including both developing and developed countries.  As of 2016, nothing has improved.

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