TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) is 29 percent among male childhood cancer survivors (CCS), according to a research letter published online Oct. 4 in JAMA Oncology.

Laura van Iersel, M.D., from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving male CCSs aged 18 years or older who had been diagnosed with childhood cancer at least 10 years prior and completed questionnaires on sexual health. Data were included for 1,021 participants; ED scores were available for 956 participants.

The researchers found that 29 percent of the participants reported ED. Independent risk factors for ED in sexually active participants included Hispanic or other race/ethnicity, age at the time of the study, and low testosterone levels (relative risks, 1.94, 0.98, and 1.7, respectively). Black race was also a risk factor for ED (relative risk, 1.51) when data of both sexually active and non-sexually active participants were combined. In both the sexually active and combined groups, individuals with greater body image dissatisfaction and low lean muscle mass were more likely to report ED.

“Although the results from these analyses are hypothesis-generating and need validation in an independent cohort, our data support the hypothesis that ED may be a modifiable condition in CCSs,” the authors write.

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