Doctors recommend some of their patients to take statin to help lower bad cholesterol level in their blood. The drug is often prescribed to help prevent stroke and heart attack but while statins are widely used as a cholesterol-reducing drug, it appears it also has versatile effects as to treat some other health conditions.
Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) may find that taking statin does not just help them reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in their body as the cholesterol lowering drug can also apparently help improve their erectile function.
A new study conducted by researchers from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey suggests that statins may be beneficial for men with erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects about 18 to 30 million men who are mostly more than 40 years old. Common causes of the condition include high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, tobacco use, stress and diabetes.
In the study presented at the 63rd Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology and published in Journal of Sexual Medication March 29, the researchers sought to determine the effects of statin on erectile dysfunction by conducting a meta-analysis of 11 earlier studies on ED and statins involving about 640 men.
The researchers found that statin has a significant impact on erectile dysfunction in men with high cholesterol levels and ED.
"The increase in erectile function scores with satins was approximately one-third to one-half of what has been reported with drugs like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra," said study researchers John Kostis of the Cardiovascular Institute, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "For men with erectile dysfunction who need statins to control cholesterol, this may be an extra benefit."
How statins help improve erectile function is possibly similar to how Viagra, a popular prescription drug for erectile dysfunction, works.
"Over the years it's become apparent that erectile dysfunction is an indication of decreased vascular health in men, and it's considered by many to be a significant cardiovascular risk factor," said Jeffrey Kuvin, vice-chair of the program committee for the American College of Cardiology conference.
Despite the study's findings, Kostis said he does not recommend taking statins for improving erectile function in men who do not have high cholesterol.