Introduction & Objective :
The relationship between Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and age is well established and significant. Obesity and the lack of physical activity are major health concerns in the United States. West Virginia has the distinction of being the most obese state in America, with an obesity rate of 37.7% in 2017. Currently, West Virginia has some of the highest rates of heart disease, physical inactivity, diabetes, and smoking in the United States. Herein, we examine the possible effect of obesity and physical activity on ED through analysis of data on 289 subjects (age 50 or greater) who completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM).
SHIM surveys were given to patients at a university-based urology clinic being seen for general urological problems. A total of 653 surveys were administered and 289 of these surveys were completed sufficiently for analysis. Results were sorted into levels by SHIM score as follows: Severe ED (1-7), Moderate ED (8-11), Mild to Moderate (12-16), Mild ED (17-21) and No ED (22-25). Self-reported leisure time physical activity was measured by the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Data is reported as Mean + St. Deviation. Statistical analysis was determined by ANOVA.
No difference was observed in Age or Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared across the SHIM levels. Significant differences were observed between SHIM levels across Godin Questionnaire scores (P < 0.001), with the Severe ED group exhibiting significantly lower levels of physical activity compared to both the Mild ED (P < 0.001) and No ED levels (P < 0.001).
The obesity epidemic is a serious health concern in the United States due to the association of obesity with negative health consequences. In our patient population, BMI had no effect on the degree or presence of ED. Individuals with increased physical activity as measured by the Godin Questionnaire exhibited improved SHIM scores. Increased physical activity exhibits many beneficial effects, and our results support this. Further investigation into the effects of obesity and increased physical activity on ED is ongoing.