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Erectile Dysfunction Associated with Sleep Apnea

Men with more serious sleep apnea have more serious erection problems

THURSDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Men with sleep apnea syndrome are also likely to have erectile dysfunction, according to a study published in the May issue of Urology.

John P. Mulhall, M.D., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues studied sexual dysfunction and sleep problems in 50 men who attended a sleep clinic for sleep apnea syndrome.

Sixty percent of the men exhibited abnormal sleep patterns as measured by Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores, and 80 percent of these men had problems maintaining an erection, the researchers found. The investigators discovered a significant gap in erectile function, as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function, between the men who had normal sleepiness scores and those with abnormal sleepiness scores. Men with worse sleep problems had more problems maintaining erections, the report indicates.

"Men presenting with symptoms consistent with sleep apnea syndrome have a significant risk of erectile dysfunction, and the correlation between the severity of sleep apnea and the severity of erectile dysfunction is strong," the authors write.

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