Introduction and objectives: Warning labels in cigarette packages often links smoking to a severe impairment in sexual health. To evaluate if this is the case, we studied the psychobiological correlates of smoking behavior in 1150 male patients, seeking medical care for erectile problems.
Methods: All the patients have been interview using SIEDY, which explores organic, relational and intra-psychic components of erectile dysfunction (ED), and completed a self-administered psychometric test (MHQ). In addition, several biochemical and instrumental parameters were studied in this population, to better clarify the biological components underlying the ED problem.
Results: Among hormonal levels, we found that current smokers have a higher activation of hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis (higher LH, testosterone and right testicular volume) and lower levels of both PRL and TSH than never or past-smokers. Hormonal changes were reverted after smoking cessation. Current smokers showed a higher degree of somatised anxiety and were more often unsatisfied of their occupational and domestic lifestyle. Smoking, as part of a risky behavior, was significantly associated with abuse of alcohol and cannabis. Both current and former smokers have the worst subjective and objective (dynamic peak systolic velocity at penile Duplex ultrasound) erectile parameters. This might be due to a cigarette-induced alteration of lipid profile (higher triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol in current smokers than in non-smokers or past-smokers) or to a higher used of medications potentially interfering with sexual function.
Conclusions: Our report demonstrates that smoking have a strong negative impact in male sexual life, even if it associated at an apparently more sexual-favourable hormonal milieu.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology