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Sleep Breath. 2009 Mar;13(1):3-10. doi: 10.1007/s11325-008-0212-8. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction: still a neglected risk factor?

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Burlington, MA, USA. nikoszias@gmail.com



Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a well-known entity with determined risk factors, which generally has a negative impact on quality of life. Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), often referred to as obstructive sleep apnea, stands among the possible risk factors for ED.


Literature review suggests that SDB induces a spectrum of abnormalities in neural, hormonal, and vascular regulation that may contribute to the development of ED. While more studies are required to imply SDB as a risk factor for ED, several case series and expert opinion have contributed evidence for a causal relationship.


In clinical practice, men presenting with symptoms of sexual dysfunction often have concomitant sleep disorders requiring treatment. There is now evidence to suggest that treating SDB may be an effective treatment for ED. It is the authors' opinion that patients with erectile dysfunction would benefit from a sleep evaluation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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