Older Men Finding Sex Life Gets
Better by Lowering Their Cholesterol
Rutgers study shows statins improve
erectile function in men with cardiovascular disease
March 31, 2014 - A new study is
giving hope to older men concerned about the effects of
cholesterol-lowering medications on their sexual health. The research,
conducted at Rutgers
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School,
found that statin medication prescribed to lower cholesterol and
decrease the chance of heart attack and stroke, also improves a man’s
The researchers reported their
findings at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific
session in Washington DC and in the April issue of The Journal of
“Older men who have poor
cardiovascular health, diabetes or metabolic syndrome often experience
erectile dysfunction – and the prevalence of these diseases is expected
to increase,” said John B. Kostis, professor of medicine, director of
the Cardiovascular Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School and the study’s principal investigator.
“Our research indicates that
statins not only improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of
stroke and heart attack, but also improve erectile function in the men
included in our analysis.”
Kostis suggested that ED may serve
as a warning sign of cardiovascular disease. In such patients,
prescribing statins following the detection of cardiovascular disease
could offer early benefits in addition to improved sexual function. The
added benefit of statins on better erectile performance, he hopes, will
encourage men to adhere to taking the medication as prescribed by their
But until further research is
conducted to determine the link between statin therapy and the
improvement of erectile dysfunction, Kostis cautioned doctors against
prescribing statins for erectile dysfunction alone or when it may be
caused by psychosocial factors.
“Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is
the best method to prevent disease, including erectile dysfunction,”
said Kostis. “But statin therapy has been proven to provide long-term
benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease and the detrimental
consequences associated with it. Offering statin therapy to improve
erectile function may extend these benefits further.”
The study is based on an analysis
of 11 randomized controlled research studies on erectile dysfunction and
statins that all used the International Inventory of Erectile Function –
a self-reporting evaluation of male sexual function considered the
standard of measurement in clinical trials of ED. There was no
relationship of the average age of trial participants and the degree of
LDL cholesterol lowering of statin with the outcome of the analysis.
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