Light shed on erectile dysfunction

ON THE RISE::A poll by a medical group found that most men with erectile issues suffered from another condition and that more young men are experiencing erectile issues

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Apr 02, 2013 - Page 4

More than 50 percent of men experiencing erectile dysfunction are also suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia — a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland — with lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH/LUTS), conditions that can negatively impact the sufferer’s confidence and romantic relationships, the Taiwanese Association of Andrology said yesterday.

The association conducted a survey of 254 men between the ages of 30 and 70 suffering from erectile dysfunction, which showed that 96 percent of those polled were dissatisfied with their sexual performance.

The survey also found that 66 percent of those polled who were over 50 also suffer from comorbid conditions such as frequent urination or urinary incontinence, and 70 percent felt that the disease had negatively affected their relationship with their spouses.

Association chairman Jiann Bang-ping (簡邦平) said that in light of this concern, the association has begun airing a commercial and printing a periodical to call attention to the conditions and provide information on how to treat them.

Erectile dysfunction and BPH/LUTS are chronic conditions that hurt the sufferer’s quality of life and are often comorbid, Jiann said.

“According to our survey, 50 percent of the patients with erectile problems also have BPH/LUTS, and the percentage rises to 70 percent among those aged 50 and up,” he said.

Chen Yu (陳煜), director of urology at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Linkou District (林口), said that the association between erectile dysfunction and BPH/LUTS is thought to be related to changes in pathogenic mechanisms such as low nitric oxide bioavailablity, diminished smooth muscle relaxation or pelvic atherosclerosis.

“What is also worth noting is that more and more young men are being affected by these conditions due to the excessive presence of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods in their diets. About 20 to 25 percent of men who visit the doctor for erectile dysfunction and BPH/LUTS are aged 45 and under,” Chen said.

He added that the two conditions have traditionally been treated separately, but doctors have recently begun to treat them together.

“Excluding psychological factors and the presence of other chronic illnesses, the new treatments for these conditions is proving to be effective,” Chen said.