WASHINGTON, June 22 (AFP) - Obese men with erectile dysfunction can improve their sex life through exercise and by shedding pounds, according to a study due out Wednesday.
"Our data demonstrate that lifestyle changes, including a reduced-calorie diet and increased exercise, improve erectile function in obese men and resulted in about one-third of men with erectile dysfunction regaining sexual function after treatment," said the authors of the study, led by Katherine Esposito of the Second University of Naples, Italy, and due to be published in Wednesday's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, conducted from October 2000 to October 2003 in an Italian university hospital, followed 110 obese men between the ages of 35 and 55, who had erectile dysfunction but did not suffer from diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia (an increase in the amount of lipids in the blood).
Fifty-five of the men were given advice on how to lose 10 percent or more of their body weight. After two years, men suffering from erectile dysfunction noted an improved sex life.
"This improvement was associated with amelioration of both endothelial function and markers of systemic vascular inflammation," the researchers wrote.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Christopher Saigal of the University of California, Los Angeles called the results provocative but noted that there were some limitations.
"The population studied may differ from obese patients typically seen in primary-care clinics, in that these patients did not have known coronary heart disease, diabetes or hypertension, all commonly seen in obese patients in practice," he said, noting that this could limit the study's impact.
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