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Large Waistlines Linked to Erectile Dysfunction

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By David Liu, PHD

Wednesday Aug 1, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Central obesity is linked to diabetes and heart disease which are in turn associated with sexual dysfunction and urinary conditions.  A new study confirmed this and also found cutting a man's waistline by 2.5 inches can improve all the obesity-related sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction and urinary health.

Dr. Steven A. Kaplan of Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and colleagues found losing weight can help men improve sexual dysfunction and urinary problems that previously were not associated with high body mass.

The study published in the August issue of the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI) involved 409 men diagnosed with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.  LUTS is a common medical condition affecting older men and often results in symptoms including difficulty urinating, increase urinating frequency during the day and night.  Participants aged 40 to 91 were measured for their waistlines, which are associated with body mass index, meaning men with large waists tended to be obese or have central obesity.

The researchers found a direct association between a larger waistline and the frequency of urination.  Specifically, 39 percent of men with the largest waistlines or men with most severe central obesity urinated more than eight times per day, compared to 27 percent of men in the middle range and 16 percent of men with the smallest waistlines.  The same was observed for night-time urination.

Erectile dysfuction was found in 74.5 percent of men with the largest waists, compared to 50 percent of men in the middle group and 32 percent with the smaller waistlines.  Ejaculation problems followed the same pattern.

Additionally, men with the biggest waist circumference were more likely to have high blood pressure, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, and type 2 diabetes. These medical conditions have been associated with obesity.

South Korean Scientists H.J. Yang and colleagues reported in the May 23, 2012 issue of Urology that waist circumference is linked to prostate volume and central obesity.  But obesity does not necessarily cause lower urinary tract symptoms, at least in Korean men.

Another study led by I. Andersen of Copenhagen University, Institute of Public Health Science-Social Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues found obesity was associated with erectile dysfunction among younger men aged 20 to 45 years.

The study was released in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The report is based in part on a press release by Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.

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