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Keywords:

  • Exercise;
  • Exercise Therapy;
  • Penile Erection;
  • Erectile Dysfunction;
  • Impotence

Abstract

Introduction

There is growing interest in using exercise to treat. Although many studies have highlighted the relationship between better erectile function and exercise, black men have been underrepresented in the literature.

Aims

This study aims to determine whether or not exercise is associated with better erectile as well as sexual function in black men and define a minimum exercise threshold for which better erectile/sexual function is seen in a cross-sectional study.

Methods

Our study population consisted of 295 healthy controls from a case-control study assessing risk factors for prostate cancer conducted at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which contained a substantial proportion of black men (n = 93; 32%). Exercise and erectile/sexual function were both determined from self-reported questionnaires. Subjects were stratified into four exercise groups: <3 (sedentary), 3–8.9 (mildly active), 9–17.9 (moderately active), and ≥18 (highly active) metabolic equivalents (MET) hours/week. The association between exercise and erectile/sexual function was addressed utilizing multivariable linear regression analyses.

Main Outcome Measures

Erectile/sexual function was defined by the validated Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite sexual assessment, which was analyzed as a continuous variable (sexual function score). Clinically significant better function was defined as half a standard deviation (SD) (16.5 points).

Results

Median sexual function score was 53 (SD = 33). Higher exercise was associated with a better sexual function score (P < 0.001). Importantly, there was no interaction between black race and exercise (P-interaction = 0.772), meaning more exercise was linked with better erectile/sexual function regardless of race. Overall, exercise ≥18 MET hours/week predicted better erectile/sexual function (P < 0.001) with a clinically significant 17.3-point higher function. Exercise at lower levels was not statistically (P> 0.147) or clinically (≤8.14 points higher function) associated with erectile/sexual function.

Conclusions

In a racially diverse population, exercise ≥18 MET hours/week is highly associated with better erectile/sexual function regardless of race. Simon RM, Howard L, Zapata D, Frank J, Freedland SJ, and Vidal AC. The association of exercise with both erectile and sexual function in black and white men. J Sex Med 2015;12:1202–1210.