Recent study results have revealed a significant association between electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), or electronic cigarettes, and erectile dysfunction (ED).1
In this study, current daily ENDS users were more likely to self-report ED than users who had never used ENDS. This was consistent both in the full sample (AOR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.50, 3.34) and in the restricted samples (AOR = 2.41, 95% CI = 1, 55, 3.74).
“Since many people use e-cigarettes as a form of smoking harm reduction or to help them quit smoking,” lead author Omar El Shahawy, MD, PhD, MPH, explained in a release from hurry,2 “We need to thoroughly study the relationship between vaping products and erectile dysfunction, and thus better understand the potential implications for men’s sexual health. “
Investigators performed an analysis of data from Wave 4 (2016-2018) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study.3 PATH was launched in 2011 by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the FDA as a self-reported questionnaire to help researchers better understand tobacco use in a large population.
For the purposes of this study, PATH data was only extracted from participants who were at least 20 years old and who answered the erectile dysfunction question in the survey. Data from 13,711 men were included and divided into 2 groups: the full sample and the small sample, or participants aged 20 to 65 without a prior diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.
Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the association of ENDS use and DE, adjusting for various risk factors.
The results showed that 20.7% of the full sample participants and 10.2% of the small sample participants had erectile dysfunction. ENDS use occurred in 4.8% of the full sample population and 5.6% of the small sample population, with 2.1% and 2.5% reporting use daily ENDS, respectively.
Additionally, history of cardiovascular disease and the 65+ age group were significantly associated with ED (AOR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.77; AOR = 17.4, 95% CI = 12.5, 24.91). Physical activity was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of erectile dysfunction in both samples (AOR range = 0.44 to 0.58).
“Our results underscore the need to study patterns of electronic cigarette use that are relatively safer than smoking,” concluded El Shahawy, assistant professor of population health at NYU Langone. “Our analyzes took into account the smoking history of participants, including those who had never smoked cigarettes to begin with, so it is possible that daily e-cigarette vaping was associated with higher risks of erectile dysfunction,” regardless of smoking history. “
According to the investigators, 2 limitations of the study were the self-reported aspect of data collection and the lack of data indicating whether participants were taking any medications that may have been associated with erectile dysfunction.
El Shahawy stressed the importance of further research on this topic, such as the effect of different types of NDT on DE or how stopping NDT is associated with DE.
1. El-Shahawy O, Shah T, Obisesan OH et al. Association of electronic cigarettes with erectile dysfunction: the tobacco population assessment study and health. Am J Prev Med. 2022; 62 (1): 26-38. doi: 10.1016 / j.amepre.2021.08.004
2. Electronic cigarettes may be independently linked to erectile dysfunction, new research shows. Press release. NYU Langone Health. December 1, 2021. Accessed January 12, 2022. https://nyulangone.org/news/e-cigarettes-may-be-independently-linked-erectile-dysfunction-new-research-finds
3. PATH: Assessment of tobacco population and health. https://pathstudyinfo.nih.gov/