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Keywords:

  • erectile dysfunction;
  • exercise test;
  • heart rate;
  • autonomic nervous system

Aim: In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between heart rate recovery (HRR) time and Chronotropic Index (CHIND) parameters, which also reflect autonomic function, after exercise stress test (EST) in males with or without erectile dysfunction (ED), and we investigated the relationship between HRR and CHIND and serum steroid hormone levels.

Material and Methods: A total of 135 participants (mean age: 45.0 ± 11.8 years) were enrolled into the study. Detailed biochemical and hormonal analyses, 12-lead electrocardiography and EST (Treadmill) were performed in all participants. Erectile function was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire form. Patients were categorized into two groups according to their IIEF scores as ED (+) (IIEF < 26) and ED (−) (IIEF ≥ 26). Afterward, statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the correlations between ED and HRR and CHIND.

Results: A total of 65 patients were ED (+) (mean age 44.9 ± 6.4 years), while 70 patients (mean age 43.7 ± 7.7 years) had normal erectile status. There were statistically significant differences in CHIND (P = 0.015) and HRR time (P = 0.037) between ED (+) and ED (−) patients. In correlation analysis, IIEF score was found positively correlated with HRR and metabolic equivalent (MET) values (rHRR= 0.293, P = 0.037; rMETs= 0.388, P = 0.011, respectively). Linear regression analysis revealed that METs value and total exercise time had a more linear relationship with IIEF score compared to the other EST parameters (pMETs= 0.002 and pTET= 0.015, respectively).

Conclusion: Chronotropic incompetence and dynamic postexercise autonomic dysfunction are present in ED patients. This condition may reflect decreased functional capacity and exercise intolerance in these patients.

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2010;15(3):223–229