Potential Connection Between Erectile Dysfunction, Parkinson’s Disease

A 2017 Taiwanese study found a correlation between symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Correlation is not causation, however, and more research needs to be done to establish the nature of the correlation. 

Men with erectile dysfunction may have something new to worry about based on a recent study that found they face a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than men who are free of ED symptoms.

In fact, the study showed that men with ED have a 52 percent higher risk of Parkinson’s than men who don’t suffer from ED.

The study was conducted by a team of Taiwanese researchers affiliated with China Medical University, Tzu Chi University, and Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital. The research team published its findings in the July 2017 issue of the “Journal of Clinical Neurology.”

Methodology of Study

Researchers identified 3,153 patients who were first diagnosed with ED between the beginning of 2004 and the end of 2010. To serve as a control group, the research team randomly selected 12,612 male patients with no symptoms of ED.

Researchers then tracked the health of all subjects from their recruitment to the date of their diagnosis with Parkinson’s, withdrawal from Taiwan’s national health insurance program, or the end of 2012, whichever came first.

Scientists determined that the incidence of Parkinson’s was 52 percent higher in study participants with ED alone, and even higher in study participants who suffered not only from ED but type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension as well.

Researchers also recommended that further studies be done on the link between ED and Parkinson’s.

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