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19 June 2008
Testosterone Levels Linked To Erectile Dysfunction
by George Atkinson

New findings from endocrinologists in Europe indicate that erectile dysfunction, testosterone deficiency and metabolic syndrome may be inextricably linked. The study was presented at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

"Erectile dysfunction is a portal into men's health," said the study's senior author, Aksam Yassin, from the Segeberger Clinic in Germany. "It is becoming clear that obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and erectile difficulties are intertwined, and a common denominator is testosterone deficiency."

Yassin's research focused on men with erectile dysfunction (ED) and was aimed at determining the prevalence of hypogonadism (low testosterone) in those men. Over a two-year period the investigators studied more than 700 patients who sought treatment for ED. Their average age was 56. The men were screened for low testosterone and indicators of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart and vascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Yassin found that 18 percent of the men had testosterone deficiency, which had until then gone undetected. Normally, the prevalence of low-testosterone in the general population of men aged 45 and older is about 12 percent. Equally as important, around 30 percent of the men had type 1 or type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Yassin concluded by stressing that men with ED - especially older men - should receive evaluation not only for ED but also for testosterone deficiency and any underlying signs of metabolic syndrome.

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Source: The Endocrine Society

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