Health

Medications to treat cardiovascular risk factors do not impact erectile function

New study provides reassurance for men taking blood pressure and cholesterol modifying medications, reports the Canadian Journal of Cardiology

 

A new study into the effects of cholesterol and blood-pressure lowering medications concludes that these do not negatively affect erectile function, which is a major public health problem.

Men being treated for cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at increased risk of developing ED and often consider this condition a side effect of their medications.

The study is published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

“Previous research suggests that cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol increase the risk of ED, but there has been little research examining whether modifying these risk factors can impact its development,” explained lead investigator Philip Joseph, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“During the study, none of the treatment groups were associated with a significant change in erectile function when compared to their respective placebo groups. Neither blood pressure lowering with candesartan/HCTZ nor cholesterol lowering with a statin showed an impact on erectile function,” according to a news release from ELSEVIER. “Importantly, taking these medications were not associated with the development of ED.”

“This study shows that lowering these critically important cardiac risk factors using these medications has little impact on changes in erectile function,” commented Dr. Joseph.

“Men who develop ED while on such medications commonly attribute their symptoms to the medications. Our findings suggest that these two medications do not negatively impact erectile function, which should be reassuring to men who are taking them.”

This is an important finding, because doctors can reassure patients that their ED is almost certainly not related to these medications, which have been well-shown to prevent major complications of heart disease, and encourage them to continue to take them.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about 40 percent of men over 50 years old and is more common in men with cardiovascular risk factors.

 

Photo credit: Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images

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