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Respir Med. 2007 Feb;101(2):210-6. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

The impact of long-term conventional treatment for overlap syndrome (obstructive sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) on concurrent erectile dysfunction.

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Department of Urology, Medical School, University Hospital of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece.



To assess the improvement of concurrent erectile dysfunction (ED) in men with overlap syndrome (obstructive sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bronchodilators.


We evaluated 48 men of a mean age of 52.8+/-10 years suffering from both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and concurrent ED. They were treated with conventional for pulmonary obstruction therapy (CPAP and bronchodilators) for 6 months and then their erectile function (EF) status was reassessed. ED was considered as improved, if ED intensity score increased for at least five points compared to that of baseline. The determinants for improvement of ED were also evaluated, as well as patient's personal degree of satisfaction with the treatment they received as far as the disorder was concerned.


EF was improved in 12 patients (25%), but only two thirds of them were satisfied with the grade of improvement after treatment. ED improvement was related positively with age and apnea/hypopnea index and negatively with ED duration. ED intensity score, O(2) saturation at night and BMI were not significantly related to the outcome of EF improvement.


Conventional treatment for OSA and COPD, has a positive effect on concurrent ED on the minority of patients. This effect is possibly due to the improvement of respiration during sleep with CPAP and of oxygenation with bronchodilators continuously. Of the improved men, one third was not satisfied with the impact of this treatment modality on their EF. It is likely that specific for ED treatment is needed in these individuals.

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