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Psychobiological correlates of smoking in patients with erectile dysfunction

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 November 2005

Abstract

Although it is clear that cigarette abuse is closely linked to sexual dysfunction, it is still unclear which are the psychobiological correlates of smoking among individuals with sexual dysfunction. The aim of the present study is the assessment of the organic, psychogenic and relational correlates of erectile dysfunction (ED) in outpatients with different smoking habits. We studied the psychobiological correlates of smoking behaviour in a consecutive series of 1150 male patients, seeking medical care for ED. All patients were investigated using a Structured Interview (SIEDY©), which explores the organic, relational and intra-psychic components of ED, and a self-administered questionnaire for general psychopathology (MHQ). In addition, several biochemical and instrumental parameters were studied, to clarify the biological components underlying ED. Current smokers (CS) showed a higher activation of the hypothalamus–pituitary–testis axis (higher LH, testosterone and right testicular volume) and lower levels of both prolactin and TSH. Hormonal changes were reverted after smoking cessation. CS showed a higher degree of somatized anxiety and were more often unsatisfied of their occupational and domestic lifestyle. Smoking, as part of a risky behaviour, was significantly associated with abuse of alcohol and cannabis. Both CS and past smokers (PS) showed an impairment of subjective and objective (dynamic peak systolic velocity at penile duplex ultrasound) erectile parameters. This might be due to a direct atherogenic effect of smoking, a cigarette-induced alteration of lipid profile (higher triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol in CS than in non-smokers or PS), or due to a higher use of medications potentially interfering with sexual function. This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the biological and intrapsychic correlates to the smoking habit. Our report demonstrates that smoking has a strong negative impact on male sexual life, even if it is associated at an apparently more sexual-favourable hormonal milieu.

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Correspondence to M Maggi.

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Corona, G., Mannucci, E., Petrone, L. et al. Psychobiological correlates of smoking in patients with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 17, 527–534 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3901351

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3901351

Keywords

  • erectile dysfunction
  • smoking testosterone
  • structured interview
  • SIEDY©

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