E-cigarettes users should be informed about the possible link between e-cigarettes use and experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), as reported by a study published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
According to the researchers e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine delivery systems, ENDS) use seems to be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) independent of age, cardiovascular disease, and other common ED risk factors.
The study suggests men between 20 and 65 years of age with no prior history of cardiovascular disease but who use e-cigarettes daily are more than twice (2.4 times) as likely as men who have never used e-cigarettes to report erectile dysfunction.
The research team used data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a nationally representative study of 45,971 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older that examines various tobacco use behaviors and health outcomes.
This study was restricted to 13,711 males, 20 years and older, who responded to a question regarding ED.
Tanmik Shah, BDS, MPH, the lead statistician and study co-author, examined the association between ENDS and ED in the full sample, as well as in a restricted sample of 11,207 adult males aged 20 to 65 years with no prior cardiovascular disease diagnosis, while adjusting for multiple risk factors.
Respondents were classified as never, former, and current (occasional or daily) users.
Almost half of the participants were former cigarette smokers, 21 percent were current cigarette smokers, and 14 percent used other tobacco products.
Compared to those who never used ENDS, daily users were more than two times more likely to report having ED (2.2 times in the full sample and 2.4 times in the restricted sample).
There was a significant association between ENDS use and ED among respondents aged 20 to 65 with normal body mass index and without cardiovascular disease, suggesting an association of ED with ENDS use among a relatively healthy population.
Within the restricted sample, 10.2 percent of respondents reported ED.
Five and a half percent reported occasional ENDS use while 2.5 percent reported daily ENDS use.
Compared to those who reported never using ENDS, current daily ENDS users were more likely to report ED in both the full and restricted samples.
Physical activity was associated with lower odds of ED in both population samples.
One study limitation, according to the researchers, is that the analyses were based on self-reported data on ENDS use and ED status, all of which are subject to misclassification and desirability bias (the possibility that respondents will answer questions based on what they think will be perceived favorably by others).
There were also no data indicating whether or not the respondents were taking any medications associated with ED such as antidepressants or beta blockers.
The next phase of the research, says Dr. El Shahawy, will be to better understand if certain types of ENDS have a stronger association with ED than others, and whether reported ED could be reversible with discontinuing their use.
Since this study only examines men, future research should also investigate the association between ENDS use and sexual dysfunction among women.
In addition to Dr. El Shahawy, other NYU Langone researchers include Scott E. Sherman, MD; Tanmik Shah, DDS, MPH; Meghan Durr, MPH; and Ria Pinjani, MPH.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine include Michael J. Blaha, MD, who is the senior author of this work; Olufunmilayo H. Obisesan, MD, MPH; Albert D. Osei, MD, MPH; Iftekhar Uddin, MD, MSPH; and Mohammadhassan Mirbolouk, MD. Additional investigators include Emilia J. Benjamin, MD, Boston University School of Medicine; Andrew Stokes, PhD, Boston University School of Medicine; and Tom Loney, PhD, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates.
E-Cigarettes Linked to Heart Attacks, Coronary Artery Disease and Depression (2019-03-13)
E-cigarettes linked to increased arterial stiffness, blood pressure and heart rate in humans (2018-03-05)
For more information
Association of E-Cigarettes With Erectile Dysfunction: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study
AJPM – American Journal of Preventive Medicine
NYU Langone Health
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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