WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Use of electronic cigarettes is associated with erectile dysfunction independent of age, cardiovascular disease, or other risk factors, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Omar El-Shahawy, M.D., Ph.D., from New York University in New York City, and colleagues used data from Wave 4 (2016 to 2018) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study to examine the association between electronic nicotine delivery device (ENDS) use and erectile dysfunction. The analysis included male participants ages 20 years and older, while a restricted analysis included men aged 20 to 65 years with no previous cardiovascular disease diagnosis.

The researchers found that the proportion of erectile dysfunction varied from 20.7 percent (full sample) to 10.2 percent (restricted sample). The prevalence of current ENDS use was 4.8 and 5.6 percent, respectively, with 2.1 and 2.5 percent, respectively, reporting daily use. Compared with never users, current daily ENDS users were more likely to report erectile dysfunction in both the full (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.24) and restricted (aOR, 2.41) samples. In the full sample, there were associations noted between both cardiovascular disease history (aOR, 1.39) and age 65 years or older (versus age 20 to 24 years; aOR, 17.4) with erectile dysfunction. Physical activity was associated with lower odds of erectile dysfunction in both samples (aOR range, 0.44 to 0.58).

“While ENDS remain under evaluation for harm reduction and smoking-cessation potential, ENDS users should be informed about the possible association between ENDS use and erectile dysfunction,” the authors write.

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