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Only High Exercise Levels Tied to Better Erectile, Sexual Function

Lower levels have no significant effect; findings consistent in racially diverse population

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- High weekly exercise levels are tied to better erectile/sexual function in men, whereas exercise at lower levels is not, according to a study published online March 20 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Ross M. Simon, M.D., from the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and colleagues utilized self-reported questionnaires to assess exercise and erectile/sexual function in 295 healthy participants. Exercise was characterized as sedentary (<3 metabolic equivalents [MET] hours/week); mildly active (3 to 8.9); moderately active (9 to 17.9); and highly active (≥18).

The researchers found that higher exercise was associated with a better sexual function score (P < 0.001). Since there was no association between black race and exercise (P-interaction = 0.772), exercise was tied to better erectile/sexual function regardless of race. Better erectile/sexual function was predicted by exercise ≥18 MET hours/week (P < 0.001), which was clinically significant. Erectile/sexual function was not significantly associated with exercise at lower levels, either statistically or clinically.

"In a racially diverse population, exercise ≥18 MET hours/week is highly associated with better erectile/sexual function regardless of race," the authors write.

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