Posted on Dec 31, 2018, 12 a.m.
At least 1 in 5 men over the age of 60 are affected by erectile dysfunction. A large scale genomic analysis conducted by the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford suggests that type 2 diabetes may be a cause of erectile dysfunction, as published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Data was examined across three cohorts on more than 220,000 men, 6,000 of which experienced erectile dysfunction, using cutting edge genetic analysis to examine complex correlation between diabetes and aspects including body weight. This work supports recent findings of erectile dysfunction having a genetic cause, and goes further by opening the possibility of living a healthier lifestyle to help reduce the risk; and genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes was found to be linked with erectile dysfunction, providing evidence that diabetes can be a cause of erectile issues.
Conclusions are limited which can be drawn in regards to whether treatment of diabetes is likely to have an impact on erectile dysfunction risk due to few clinical trials of diabetes reporting erectile dysfunction as an outcome of improved glucose control.
Professor Michael Holmes explains their findings are important as diabetes is preventable, and one can now achieve remission from diabetes as illustrated in recent clinical trials via weight loss and healthier lifestyle choices. Results go beyond finding genetic links to erectile dysfunctions to a public message of widespread relevance to the general public considering the burgeoning prevalence of diabetes.
Until now there has only been observational evidence linking erectile dysfunction and type 2 diabetes without definitive evidence showing predisposition to type 2 diabetes causing erectile dysfunction; findings also echo that of previous studies identifying a specific region of the genome linked to erectile dysfunction, potentially opening new avenues for new treatments.
Materials provided by University of Exeter.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Jonas Bovijn, Leigh Jackson, Jenny Censin, Chia-Yen Chen, Triin Laisk, Samantha Laber, Teresa Ferreira, Sara L. Pulit, Craig A. Glastonbury, Jordan W. Smoller, Jamie W. Harrison, Katherine S. Ruth, Robin N. Beaumont, Samuel E. Jones, Jessica Tyrrell, Andrew R. Wood, Michael N. Weedon, Reedik Mägi, Benjamin Neale, Cecilia M. Lindgren, Anna Murray, Michael V. Holmes. GWAS Identifies Risk Locus for Erectile Dysfunction and Implicates Hypothalamic Neurobiology and Diabetes in Etiology. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.11.004