Erectile Dysfunction, Macular Degeneration Linked
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is strongly associated with erectile dysfunction (ED), according to researchers in Turkey.
Harun Cakmak, MD, and colleagues at Adnan Menderes University Medical Faculty in Aydin, prospectively studied 195 men, of whom 90 had neovascular AMD and 105 were healthy volunteers. The used the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire's erectile function domain to assess ED. The AMD and control subjects had mean ages of 62 and 60 years, respectively. IIEF questionnaire results indicated that 85 men in the AMD group (94.4%) had some degree of ED compared with 68 (64.8%) in the control group, a significant difference between the groups, the investigators reported online ahead of print in the Journal of Ophthalmology.
The study is the first to find an association between neovascular AMD and ED. The two conditions share similar risk factors, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, they pointed out that both conditions share some pathologic and epidemiologic similarities. For example, the choroid—the nourishing vascular layer of the eye—and penis have a rich vasculature, and impaired microcirculation has been found in the choroids of patients with neovascular AMD and in the penises of men with ED.