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Investigating the use and effectiveness of lifestyle medicine approaches to tackle erectile dysfunction: a cross-sectional eSurvey based study

  • El-Osta, A
  • Kerr, G
  • Alaa, A
  • El Asmar, ML
  • Karki, M
  • Webber, I
  • Riboli-Sasco, E
  • Blume, G
  • Beecken, W
  • Mummery, D
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository
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Background Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual dysfunction in men. Some types of ED are amenable to treatment using lifestyle medicine approaches with or without pharmacotherapy. Aim Investigate the use and perceived effectiveness of lifestyle medicine approaches to tackle ED. Methods A cross-sectional online survey of 1177 community dwelling adults explored the prevalence and methods used to tackle ED in the community setting. We examined differences between participants with and without ED. Variables associated with ED in univariable analyses were included in a multivariable logistic regression to identify variables independently associated with the condition. Outcomes Self-reported measure; perceived effectiveness of lifestyle medicine interventions to tackle ED Results Most respondents (76.5%) had experienced ED, and this was associated with having a long-term condition, taking anti-hypertensive medication, hypercholesterolaemia and obesity. Medication was the most common management strategy overall (65.9%), followed by stress management (43.5%) and weight loss (40.4%). Over half (53.9%) did not use any lifestyle modification strategies to tackle ED. Only 7.0% of ED sufferers received a mental health assessment and 29.2% received other tests (e.g., blood test, medical imaging) by GPs. Cardiovascular training was identified as the best rated strategy by its users (37.8%). Supplements (35.1%) and weight training/physical activity (32.6%) were also positively rated. Clinical implications Structured education to general practitioners and community dwelling adults about the impact of lifestyle behaviour modification and how this could influence the appearance or trajectory of ED could help improve personal choice when tackling ED. Strengths and Limitations To our knowledge, this is the first study to collect eSurvey responses from community dwelling adults to gauge their reliance and perceived effectiveness of lifestyle medicine approaches to tackle ED. The principal limitation was the lack of follow-up, and not recording other information including lifestyle factors such as nutrition, smoking, and the use of alcohol and recreational drugs, which may have enabled a fuller exploration of the factors that could influence the primary outcome measures examined. Conclusion Despite the high prevalence of ED, there is not enough awareness in the community setting about effective and low-cost lifestyle medicine strategies, including cardiovascular training and the use of supplements and weight training, to help tackle this common condition

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