The Effect of Statins on Erectile Dysfunction: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

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Abstract

Introduction.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in older men, especially those with comorbidities such as diabetes and atherosclerotic disease, conditions where statins are frequently prescribed.

Aim.

To examine the effect of statin therapy on ED using the five-item version of the International Inventory of Erectile Function (IIEF).

Methods.

We performed a random-effects meta-analysis of studies identified by a systematic search of MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane Database, and ClinicalTrials.gov. Examination of the 186 retrieved citations resulted in the selection of 11 randomized trials for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

Main Outcome Measures.

Change in the IIEF score.

Results.

IIEF increased by 3.4 points (95% CI 1.7–5.0, P = 0.0001) with statins compared to control. This effect remained statistically significant after multiple sensitivity analyses, including analysis for publication bias, a cumulative meta-analysis, and 11 repeated analyses with each study omitted sequentially. The increase in IIEF with statins was approximately one-third to one-half of that previously reported with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors and larger than the effect of lifestyle modification. Metaregression showed an increase in benefit with decreasing lipophilicity. The average age of participants and the degree of LDL cholesterol lowering did not alter the effect on IIEF.

Conclusion.

Statins cause a clinically relevant improvement of erectile function as measured by the five-item version of the IIEF. Kostis JB and Dobrzynski JM. The effect of statins on erectile dysfunction: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. J Sex Med 2014;11:1626–1635.

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