Introduction. Cigarette smoking has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and as a risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). However, various aspects of the associations between cigarette smoking, ED, and CVD need further elucidation.
Aim. We explored the relationship between cigarette smoking, ED, and CVD using data from a population-based cross-sectional study of 1,580 participants.
Methods. Postal questionnaires were sent to randomly selected age-stratified male population samples obtained from the Western Australia Electoral Roll.
Main Outcome Measures. In addition to items covering sociodemographic and self-reported clinical information and smoking habits, the 5-item International Index of Erectile Function was used to assess erectile function.
Results. Compared with never smokers, the odds of ED, adjusted for age, square of age, and CVD, were significantly higher among current smokers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02, 1.92) and ever smokers (OR = 1.57; 95% CI 1.02, 2.42). Similarly, the adjusted odds of severe ED were significantly higher among former smokers. Albeit not statistically significant, the age-adjusted odds of ED among current smokers increased with the number of cigarettes smoked. Among former smokers, the age-adjusted odds of ED were significantly higher 6–10 years following cessation of smoking than ≤5 or >10 years. Compared with never smokers without CVD, the age-adjusted odds of ED among former smokers and ever smokers without CVD were about 1.6. Regardless of smoking, these odds were significantly higher among participants with CVD.
Conclusions. Compared with never smokers, former smokers and ever smokers have significantly higher odds of ED. The relationship between smoking and ED is independent of that between smoking and CVD, and not because of confounding by CVD. Patterns of ED in former smokers suggest that there may be a latent interval between active smoking and symptomatic ED, involving a process initially triggered by smoking. Chew K-K, Bremner A, Stuckey B, Earle C, and Jamrozik K. Is the relationship between cigarette smoking and male erectile dysfunction independent of cardiovascular disease? Findings from a population-based cross-sectional study. J Sex Med 2009;6:222–231.