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Healthy Habits May Reverse Erectile Dysfunction

Update Date: Mar 28, 2014 05:23 PM EDT

Little blue pills may not be the only cure for erectile dysfunction. New research reveals that men can save themselves some cash and embarrassment by following a healthier lifestyle.

Researchers said the latest study underlines the prevalence of erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual desire among Australian men between 35 and 80 years old.

The latest study, which involved 810 men, followed participants for a period of over five years. Researchers said that 31 percent of men developed erectile dysfunction at the end of the study.

"Sexual relations are not only an important part of people's wellbeing. From a clinical point of view, the inability of some men to perform sexually can also be linked to a range of other health problems, many of which can be debilitating or potentially fatal," researcher Professor Gary Wittert, Head of the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Director of the University's Freemasons Foundation Center for Men's Health, said in a news release.

"Our study saw a large proportion of men suffering from some form of erectile dysfunction, which is a concern. The major risk factors for this are typically physical conditions rather than psychological ones, such as being overweight or obese, a higher level of alcohol intake, having sleeping difficulties or obstructive sleep apnea, and age," added Wittert.

"The good news is, our study also found that a large proportion of men were naturally overcoming erectile dysfunction issues. The remission rate of those with erectile dysfunction was 29%, which is very high. This shows that many of these factors affecting men are modifiable, offering them an opportunity to do something about their condition," he said.

"Even when medication to help with erectile function is required, it is likely to be considerably more effective if lifestyle factors are also addressed," lead researcher Dr. Sean Martin from the University of Adelaide's Freemasons Foundation Center for Men's Health said in a news release.

"Erectile dysfunction can be a very serious issue because it's a marker of underlying cardiovascular disease, and it often occurs before heart conditions become apparent. Therefore, men should consider improving their weight and overall nutrition, exercise more, drink less alcohol and have a better night's sleep, as well as address risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol," he added. "This is not only likely to improve their sexual ability, but will be improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing diabetes if they don't already have it."

The findings are published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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