Statins, the highly popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, may also help men with erectile dysfunction. Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School led the most recent study into statins to determine what role the drug had, if any, in improving love life. It seems that these cholesterol-lowering drugs do wonders in improving a man’s love life.
Dr. John Kostis, lead study author, also heads up the Cardiovascular Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He notes that while statins do not have the same potency as drugs such as Viagra, the incremental improvement it offers can give men who struggle with erectile dysfunction an additional boost. He does encourage men who have good cholesterol levels but struggle with erectile dysfunction to turn to impotency fighters instead of going on statins, however.
Statins, which includes drugs like Lipitor and Zocor, see a dropoff in their use after about two years. Half the men prescribed these drugs often stop using them after about 24 months. The study into whether or not statins could help the love lives of those men struggling with erectile dysfunction was based on the International Inventory of Erectile Function, or IIEF. The study was funded by the Cardiovascular Institute of New Jersey, and Kostis has admitted that he has been paid consulting fees by what he termed “several” drug companies. His findings were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine Saturday.
It was found that, according to IIEF, the effect of statins saw a 3.4 improvement over the control group as it pertained to erectile function. This, however, was a small study; as such, Kostis says that larger test samples are needed in order to see the full link between statin therapy and erectile function. This study only examined 11 randomized trials for the meta-analysis that the study involved.
Urology chairman Dr. Kevin McVary of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine says that statins may have helped improved erectile function simply because it could prevent damage to layers of cells in the blood vessels. He noted, however, that it was possible that some statins could make erectile dysfunction issues worse.
In fact, a study from 2010 that was led by scientists from Florence, Italy, noted that men who took statin therapy were twice as likely to struggle with erectile dysfunction than those who were not on statins. Kostis admitted that further examination of the links between statins and erectile function was required in order to fully understand the implications of this most recent study.
Some 18 to 30 million men struggle with erectile dysfunction annually. Men over the age of 40 most frequently struggle with erectile dysfunction, and there are a variety of reasons for this, including issues such as high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.
Regardless of the cause of erectile dysfunction, this small meta-analysis that involved 11 studies has offered some promise for those who are trying to discover ways in which to help those with erectile dysfunction. Although statins seem to help improve a man’s love life, caution needs to be exercised; those men who struggle with erectile dysfunction but do not have a need to be on statins should not decide to take statins in an effort to improve their erectile function.
By Christina St-Jean