Depression, sleep apnea and poor sleep quality raise erectile dysfunction risk

Depression, sleep apnea and sleep quality have been found to increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person may stop breathing throughout the night and be abruptly awakened to regain their breath. This condition can contribute to numerous health concerns, including diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, sleep apnea can impair sleep, which is also vital for overall good health.

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem that affects men. It results in a lack of sexual function and has been tied with sleep apnea. When men sleep testosterone is being produced but in sleep apnea patients this does not occur. The lack of oxygen brought on by sleep apnea halts the production of testosterone, which in turn can contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Depression and poor sleep with sleep apnea increases erectile dysfunction

In the latest research 713 patients with depressive symptoms and sleep problems were shown to have erectile dysfunction as well. The findings of the study suggest that erectile dysfunction may be improved if depressive symptoms are treated along with sleep apnea.

Dr. Hyun-Woo Shin, co-author of The Journal of Sexual Medicine study, said, “It is important that physicians ask male obstructive sleep apnea patients if they have any erectile dysfunction. If yes, any psychological problems including depression should be considered.”

Erectile dysfunction in patients with sleep apnea

In an alternative study published in PLOS ONE researchers found higher incidences of erectile dysfunction among those with sleep apnea. For the study, 4,835 sleep apnea patients were matched with 145,050 control subjects. Researchers found that incidences of erectile dysfunction were higher among those with sleep apnea compared to the control counterparts.

Researchers determined that having sleep apnea could increase a male’s risk of developing erectile dysfunction after accounting for age, residency, income level and comorbidities. The larger-scale study is in line with previous, smaller studies that have been conducted.

Researchers suggest that doctors and clinicians need to pay closer attention to sleep apnea as a plausible cause for erectile dysfunction when treating men with the sexual function disorder.

Read more on Sleep disorders and sexual health

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