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Eczema Linked to High Risk for Impotence

Did you know that men with eczema may be exposed to a greater risk of erectile dysfunction (ED)? A new study involving 4,000 Taiwanese men with ED problems suggests the connection between impotence and this allergic skin condition. Researchers advocate that doctors pay special attention to sexual complaints.

Dr. Donald Leung, an allergy expert from National Jewish Health in Denver, finds this study interesting. “More studies are needed to confirm that atopic dermatitis (eczema) alone may be a cause of ED.” Dr. Leung, however, is not involved in this study.

In addition to eczema, some chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are also connected with impotence. The researchers surmise that it may have something to do with disorders relating to nerves and blood vessels. In past studies, psoriasis has also been associated with higher risk for ED.

For this study, researchers from Taipei Medical University, led by Dr. Shiu-Dong Chung, browsed through the insurance claims information of nearly 4,000 men diagnosed with impotence and compared them with 20,000 men with no ED history.

The team found out that nearly 11 percent of men diagnosed with ED had eczema before their impotence compared to fewer than 7 percent of men without ED but who had eczema.

The researchers, however, admit that there may be other factors that they have not taken into consideration like the men’s lifestyle habits or their family history. These factors may account for the link between ED and eczema.

“Future studies are recommended,” the researchers wrote, “both to replicate the results seen here and to clarify the mechanisms behind them.”

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