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J Sex Med. 2008 Oct;5(10):2454-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00856.x. Epub 2008 May 20.

Low levels of androgens in men with erectile dysfunction and obesity.

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1
Department of Clinical Physiopathology, Andrology Unit, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The relationship between obesity and erectile dysfunction (ED) has not been completely clarified.

AIM:

The aim of this study is to investigate the association between different obesity class (the World Health Organization definition) with several hormonal and instrumental parameters, in a large sample of patients with ED.

METHODS:

A consecutive series of 2,435 (mean age 52.1 +/- 13.0 years) male patients with ED was investigated.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Several hormonal and biochemical parameters were studied, along with a structured interview on erectile dysfunction (SIEDY), a psychometric questionnaire (Middle Hospital Questionnaire), and penile doppler ultrasound (PDU).

RESULTS:

Among patients studied, 41.5% were normal weight, while 42.4%, 12.1% and 4.0% showed a BMI of 25-29.9, 30-34.9 and 35 kg/m(2 )or higher, respectively. Androgen levels (including sex hormone-binding globuline bound and unbound testosterone) decreased as a function of obesity class, while luteinising hormone levels did not show any significant change. Obesity was significantly associated with a higher organic contribution to ED (as assessed by SIEDY scale 1 score), and worse PDU parameters. At multivariate linear regression analysis, after adjustment for confounders (including metabolic syndrome), low androgens remained associated with BMI, while both basal and dynamic (after prostaglandin E1 [PGE1] stimulation) peak systolic velocity (PSV) at PDU resulted significantly associated with age and elevated blood pressure (Adj. r = -0.179, -0.285 and -0.094, -0.071 for age, hypertension and for basal and dynamic PSV, respectively; all P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity is characterized by low levels of androgens in men with ED, after adjustment for comorbidities. Obesity associated comorbidities, particularly hypertension, are the most important determinants of arteriogenic obesity-associated ED.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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