Erectile Dysfunction: Researchers Identify a Genetic Link

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Researchers have identified a specific location in the human genome that’s associated with an increased risk for erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, which is an inability to maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. Their findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Erectile dysfunction is a common condition, especially in middle-aged and older men. It has been linked to neurological, hormonal, and vascular factors, and genetic risk is suspected in about one-third of cases. According to the researchers in California, Washington state, and Utah who did the research, this is the first genomic location associated with ED to be identified.

The study involved two large cohorts — one of more than 36,000 men and one of 320,000 men — and the results were verified in a cohort of 222,000 men. According to researchers, genetic variations were associated with a 26 percent increased risk of erectile dysfunction, independent of other known ED risk factors.

Currently, about half of men with erectile dysfunction don’t respond to available treatments. These findings are significant because they could lead to the development of new, more effective ED treatments.

Sourced from: PNAS