Erectile Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes

A new British study of nearly a quarter of a million men has uncovered evidence that Type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that affects nearly one in five men over 60.


The researchers, who were from the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, collected data on 220,000 men, 6,000 of whom had ED. Using genetic analysis, the researchers were able to delve into previously unexplored relationships between diabetes and other aspects of health. One of their most significant findings was the existence of a link between a genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes and ED. According to co-author Jonas Bovijn, DPhil student at the University of Oxford, “We know that there is observational evidence linking erectile dysfunction and Type 2 diabetes, but until now there has not been definitive evidence to show that predisposition to Type 2 diabetes causes erectile dysfunction.”

The authors say that future research will help “provide additional clarity” on the “genetic architecture” of ED, but the new study clearly has implications for developing therapies for ED. Anna Murray, PhD, co-lead author, said the discovery of the diabetes–ED link “may mean that if people can reduce their risk of diabetes through healthier lifestyles, they may also avoid developing erectile dysfunction.” Another author, Michael Holmes, PhD, added, “Our finding is important as diabetes is preventable and indeed one can now achieve ‘remission’ from diabetes with weight loss…. This goes beyond finding a genetic link to erectile dysfunction to a message that is of widespread relevance to the general public, especially considering the burgeoning prevalence of diabetes.”

Want to learn about treating erectile dysfunction? Read “When Viagra Doesn’t Work,” “When Diabetes Affects Your Sex Life” and “Better Intimacy With Diabetes.”

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