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Cycling not Tied to Increased Risk for ED, Infertility

Update Date: Jul 07, 2014 04:55 PM EDT

Cycling is a very popular form of exercise and mode of transportation. In a new review, researchers set out to examine the relationship between cycling and health problems, such as erectile dysfunction, infertility and prostate cancer risk. The team concluded that cycling did not contribute to ED or infertility. However, cycling was tied to prostate cancer.

"Cycling is a popular sport among men. Despite its health benefits, fears have been raised regarding its effects on erectile dysfunction (ED), fertility, and on serum prostate-specific antigen [PSA] levels. This study aimed to examine associations between regular cycling and urogenital abnormalities in men," the authors wrote in their study.

For this study, the researchers consisting of Milo Hollingworth, MBBS and Alice Harper, MBBS, University College London Medical School, and Mark Hamer, PhD, University College London examined the data on 5,282 male cyclists. The participants were enrolled in the Cycling for Health UK study. The researchers examined the relationship between the amount of time the men cycled and their risk of developing, ED, infertility and prostate cancer, which was measured via PSA levels.

The researchers divided cycling time (hours per week) into four groups, which were less than 3.75, 3.76 to 5.75, 5.76 to 8.5, and more than 8.5. The team discovered no relationship between cycling time and ED or infertility risk. However, the researchers did find a "graded increase" in the risk of developing prostate cancer for men over 50-years-old who cycled more than 3.76 hours per week.

The team concluded, "These null associations refute the existence of a simple causal relationship between cycling volume, ED, and infertility. The positive association between prostate cancer and increasing cycling time provides a novel perspective on the etiology of prostate cancer and warrants further investigation."

The study "An Observational Study of Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, and Prostate Cancer in Regular Cyclists: Cycling for Health UK Study," was published in the Journal of Men's Health.

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