Tag Archives: showusyourblue

Gout a Risk Factor for Erectile Dysfunction

This week is designated Men’s Heath Week and our posts have addressed male health topics. Today’s post reviews a research study on the relationship between gout and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Gout is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis among U.S. adults. According to statistics from the Arthritis Foundation, about 4% of U.S. adults suffer from gout. It currently affects over 8 million individuals. It is much more common in men, with men three times more likely than women to develop gout.

A research group in Taiwan initiated a longitudinal cohort study to examine the relationship between gout and subsequent development of erectile dysfunction in men. The study enrolled over 19,000 men, ages 18-64, who were newly diagnosed with gout. The control group included over 77,000 men without gout. The researchers also tracked comorbid risk factors such as chronic renal risk failure, congestive heart failure, depression, diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease.

The researchers discovered that the participants with gout had a 1.21-fold greater risk of developing ED, compared to those without gout. Worse, subjects that had gout and one of the comorbid risk factors had more than a 2-fold increased risk of developing ED, compared to those without gout or cormorbid risk factors.

This is an important study showing that gout is a significant risk factor in the development of ED in men. Gout is a pro-inflammatory condition, and as seen in other research pro-inflammatory conditions often contribute to ED.

While this study was among Asian males, there is reason to believe the results would be similar in a more diverse population such as seen in the U.S. Consideration of the higher risk of ED in those diagnosed with gout may provide an extra incentive to men to have their gout treated and managed effectively.

“Gout, a physician’s name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.” –  Ambrose Bierce

(Source- The Journal of Rheumatology 2015; 42:9)

This blog is a review of published and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

 

Erectile Dysfunction a Risk Factor for Dementia

June 10-16th is designated Men’s Health Week, and in addition June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Today’s post will look at research regarding dementia and erectile dysfunction (ED).

ED is a common medical problem, particularly in aging males. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study showed about 40% of males are affected at age 40, while nearly 70% are affected by age 70. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) showed that over 18% of males age 20 and older were afflicted with ED.

A research group based in Taiwan performed a retrospective cohort study on a population of  Asian men. There were two groups, the first group were men who had recently been diagnosed with ED. The second group, or control group, were matched samples, without ED. There were over 4,000 subjects in the ED group, and nearly 21,000 subjects in the control (non-ED) group. Other health issues such as anxiety, chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease, depression, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, hypothyroidism and stroke were tracked. The subjects were followed over a 7 year period.

After the 7 year follow-up period what the researchers found was astounding- the subjects with ED were 1.68 times more likely to develop dementia than the non-ED (control) group.

The researchers also discovered that the subjects with anxiety, chronic kidney disease, depression, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and stroke were 1.48 times more likely to develop dementia.

This study, published in 2015, was the first population based study to examine the risk of developing dementia among men with ED. While the study population was Asian men, there is reason to believe that the results would similarly apply to non-Asian populations.

There are several possible mechanisms for the association between ED and dementia. One possible factor is damage to the endothelial layer, which lines the blood vessels. Damage to this crucial layer is associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. A pro-inflammatory state is seen to be a factor in endothelial damage.

This is an important research paper, and should been seen as a distant early warning of sorts. Given the inability of the currently available medicines to reverse dementia, a more preventative strategy should be considered. Men with ED, particularly at younger ages, should consider what health changes they can make to lower their future risk for dementia later in life.

“Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by.”–  Seneca

(Source- Medicine, Volume 94, Number 24, June 2015)

This blog is a review of published medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

 

 

Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction

June 10-16 is designated Men’s Health Week, and so several posts this week will address men’s health concerns. Today’s post will examine vitamin D and it’s potential association with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Data from the CDC indicate that approximately 25% of Americans are at risk for vitamin D inadequacy, while 8% are at risk for deficiency. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES)  shows over 41% to be vitamin D deficient in their sample of nearly 4500 adults, with African-Americans and Hispanics generally having worse levels of vitamin D deficiency.

Original research from Italy shows a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in a group of men with vascular ED, compared to men without vascular ED. 143 men were enrolled from a hormone clinic in Milan, Italy. The participants were divided into vascular ED, non-vascular ED, and borderline ED groups, based on penile doppler results. These groups were then compared based on various lab tests, including Vitamin D, lipids, and testosterone levels, among others.

The results showed a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the men with vascular ED, compared to men with non-vascular ED. Vitamin D levels were also lower in the men with more severe ED.

It is believed that normal vitamin D levels are important to healthy functioning of the endothelium, which lines the blood vessels. The results of this study indicate that low vitamin D levels are a potentially modifiable risk factor for ED of a vascular cause. If you are developing ED, you may want to get your vitamin D level checked.

“You take the healthiest diet in the world, if you gave those people vitamins, they would be twice as healthy. So vitamins are valuable”–  Robert Atkins MD

(Source- Journal of Sexual Medicine 2014;11)

This blog is a review of published and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone.

 

Testosterone Reduces Lying in Men

In recognition of the last day of Men’s Health Month, this post will examine a unique study conducted in Germany.

Thousands of medical research studies are published each year. Many add to the existing knowledge base about a certain medical condition, while others may suggest new areas for future research. A handful of studies each year could be considered “game changers”, and may lead to immediate re-examination of existing clinical treatment protocols.

On the other hand, there are also those studies which may make you scratch your head and mutter “huh?”. A recent study may fall into this latter category. In the study, entitled “Testosterone Administration Reduces Lying in Men”, German researchers looked at the effects of the application of testosterone to a group of healthy men, average age 24 years. On day one of the experiment, men were given either real testosterone gel or a placebo. On the second day of the experiment the men participated in dice rolling and other experiments. Testosterone levels were checked in all study subjects, and were (as expected) much higher in the testosterone treated group.

The researchers concluded that there was a lower incidence of lying in the testosterone treated group.

It’s not clear if there will be a follow-up study here in the US, perhaps sponsored by one of the testosterone replacement product manufacturers. Politicians may be a group worthy of further study. 

 

(Source-PLOS ONE, October 2012, Volume 7, Issue 10)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

Eating Chocolate May Help Prevent Strokes

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.
Charles M. Schulz

In this installment in honor of Men’s Health Week, today’s post is about chocolate, specifically chocolate and the risk of stroke in men.

Swedish researchers followed a group of 37,000 men for upwards of ten years. The chocolate consumption was assessed at the start of the study using a food questionnaire. Men were grouped according the amount of chocolate consumed per week, and were then followed for incidence of stroke.

This study found that the consumption of chocolate was associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke, in fact the men who were in the group of largest consumers of chocolate had a 17% lower risk of stroke than those men in the lowest chocolate consuming group.

This was the first chocolate study to look strictly at men, prior studies had looked at groups of men and women. Interestingly the prior studies of men and women showed a 19% decreased risk of stroke between the highest and lowest group of chocolate consumption, which is very similar to the risk reduction showed in this Swedish study.

The researchers noted that they did not differentiate between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. In Sweden, about 90% of the chocolate consumed is milk chocolate. From prior studies on chocolate it is felt that dark chocolate provides more benefits than milk chocolate. Perhaps if the study participants had eaten more dark chocolate than milk chocolate, the benefit would have been even greater.

So, enjoy your chocolate today. Make it dark chocolate if possible and eat in moderation.

 

(Source- Neurology 2012;79:1223-1229)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

Got ED? Get Checked for Diabetes

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“I give you bitter pills in sugar-coating. The pills are harmless, the poison is in the sugar”
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

 

In our continuing series of blogs in June dedicated to Men’s Health Month today’s post will examine the relationship between erectile dysfunction (ED) and undiagnosed diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

A research group in Canada looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during 2001-2004. The NHANES is designed to be a retrospective survey of the U.S. population. Researchers studied more than 4500 men ages 20 and older.

Researchers examined the association of ED with undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed high blood pressure, and undiagnosed high cholesterol amongst the sample of 4500 men.

ED was found to be strongly associated with undiagnosed diabetes, and in particular in men ages 40-59 years old. In the 40-59 year old age group undiagnosed diabetes was present in 19.1% of men with ED, whereas diabetes was present in only 3.3% of men without ED. Interestingly there was no statistically significant relationship between undiagnosed high blood pressure and ED, or undiagnosed high cholesterol and ED.

Given this convincing data men who develop ED should strongly consider being tested for diabetes.

 

(Source- Annals of Family Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 4)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

 

Mom Was Right- Eat Your Wheaties

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“Hope makes a good breakfast. Eat plenty of it”.
Ian Fleming

 

In today’s installment in honor of Men’s Health Week I will review a study from Harvard University which examined the relationship between eating breakfast and risk of coronary heart disease, in a group of male health professionals.

Researchers look at data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). which is an ongoing study of over 51,000 male health professionals from the U.S. The HPFS began enrolling subjects in 1986, and included men ages 40-75 at that time. After exclusions, nearly 27,000 men were enrolled in the sample. Dieting assessments were made by having the subjects fill out a dieting questionnaire. coronary heart disease (CHD)  was defined as non-fatal MI (heart attack) or fatal CHD, and was assessed by questionnaires as well as review of medical records and autopsy reports.

The results of the study showed that in age-adjusted models men who skipped breakfast had a 33% higher risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate their breakfast.

Also, men who ate breakfast late at night (defined as eating that occurs after going to bed) had a 55% higher risk of coronary heart diseases, compared to men who are not late night snackers.

It should be noted that this study was comprised almost exclusively of Caucasian males, and as such, the results may or may not be applicable to women or other ethnic groups. It would be interesting to see if these same results could be replicated in women or other ethnic groups.

So, for those of us who were told that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”  or to “eat your Wheaties”, it appears that once again, mom was right.

(Source- Circulation 2013;128:337-343)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

Want to Avoid E.D.? Quit Smoking.

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“Smoking is harmful to the nose, harmful to the brain, and dangerous to the lungs”

King James I

June is Men’s Health Month, and this month I will write several articles about men’s health issues. In today’s post we will discuss the relationship between smoking and erectile dysfunction (ED).

A group of researchers at the School of Public Health at the Tongji Medical College in Wuhan China performed a meta-analysis of existing studies which covered the topic of smoking and ED. They eventually included ten studies which involved more than 50,000 men. Both smoking and ED were assessed by the use of questionnaires.

What the researchers discovered was that not only the quantity of cigarettes was positively associated with the risk of ED, but the duration (number of years) was associated with the risk of ED as well. For instance, the risk of ED increased 14% for smoking 10 cigarettes a day, and the risk of ED increased 15% for ten years of smoking.

One of the strengths of this meta-analysis is that is pools data from several countries, including Australia, China, U.S., Brazil and Italy, which increases the applicability of the results. Hopefully data like this will encourage men who smoke to think twice before they light up the next cigarette.

(Source- Journal of Sexual Medicine 2014; 11)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

 

 

Five Things Men Can Do To Help Prevent Heart Attacks

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“The problem with heart disease is that the first symptom is often fatal.” 

Michael Phelps

June is Men’s Health Month, and this month I will write several articles about topics related to men’s health. In this post we will discuss five simple things men can do to help prevent a heart attack in the future.

A research group from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden enrolled nearly 21,000 men in a study which began in 1997 and ended in 2009. The men were of ages 45-79. In general this was a healthy group of men, with no history of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

The researchers looked at five different factors felt to be important in preventing heart attacks- diet, alcohol intake, use of tobacco, exercise level, and waist size. The men were assessed for these five elements by the use of a food frequency questionnaire and a physical activity questionnaire.

Researchers discovered that by following the five healthy diet and lifestyle habits-  quality diet (more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fish), moderate alcohol consumption (3 or less drinks per day), no tobacco, exercise (walked/cycled 40 minutes/day with more formal exercise of one hour/week), and with waist size 37 inches or less could prevent 79% of the heart attacks in the study group. This is a profound drop in heart attack risk.

The total reduction in heart attack risk consisted of a 36% reduction in risk for not smoking, 18% reduction for a healthy diet, 12% reduction for a lower waist size, 11% reduction for moderate alcohol intake, and 3% reduction for being physically active.

The 79% risk reduction in heart attacks is substantial, particularly since the participants in the study were considered “healthy” (no cardiovascular disease) at time of enrollment in the study. These five elements of risk reduction would seem to be low impact, with few side effects. If you are a middle age male how many of these elements could you easily incorporate into your lifestyle, to help lower your risk of heart attack in the future?

(Source- Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol. 64, No. 13, 2014)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does in create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.