Heavy smokers 40 percent likelier to be impotent
That drooping feeling: Heavy smokers 40 percent likelier to be impotent
Wed Mar 22, 7:13 PM ET
PARIS (AFP) - Men who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day are nearly 40 percent likelier to suffer from impotence than non-smokers, says a study.
The finding comes from questionnaires answered by 8,367 Australian men, a cross-section of the male population aged between 16 and 59.
The study found that erectile dysfunction affected almost 10 percent of respondents — but smokers were the worst hit.
Men who smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day were 24 percent likelier to suffer a bout of impotence than non-smokers. The risk rose to 39 percent among those who smoked more than 20 a day.
Impotence was defined as having had trouble keeping an erection when the individual wanted to, and also as a problem that had persisted for at least one month over the previous year.
The research, lead-authored by Li Ming Wen of the Sydney South West Area Health Service, unsurprisingly found that older age and heart and circulatory problems were also linked with greater risk of impotence.
On the other hand, moderate drinking — defined as one to four drinks per day — “significantly reduced” the risk.
The study appears online in Tobacco Control, a journal published by the British Medical Association (BMA).
Smoking has long been a culprit in male impotence. Previous studies have shown that nicotine and other toxic chemicals diminish blood flow to the penis and blood pressure in it.
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