Erectile Dysfunction Risk Not Lowered by Aspirin, Other NSAIDS

Lack of association found in a study of men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.
Lack of association found in a study of men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.

Use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), new study findings suggest.

The researchers, led by Darshan P. Patel, MD, of University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City, analyzed data from 4,726 men in the placebo arm of the prospective Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) who had no evidence of ED at baseline. Aspirin use was associated with a significant 16% increased risk of severe ED and non-aspirin NSAID use was associated with a significant 16% increased risk of mild or moderate ED, Dr. Patel's group reported online ahead of print in BJU International. These increased risks became non-significant in a model that adjusted for medical conditions associated with NSAID use, including arthritis, chronic musculoskeletal pain, general musculoskeletal pain, headaches, sciatica, and atherosclerotic disease. In the study, these conditions were associated with a significant 56%, 36%, 44%, 50%, and 60% increased risk of mild or moderate ED, respectively. General musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and atherosclerotic disease were associated with a significant 22%, 47%, and 60% increased risk of severe ED.

For the PCPT, mild or moderate ED was defined as a “decrease in normal function or able with difficulty to achieve vaginal penetration” and severe ED was defined as the “absence of function/no erections,” based on self-report.

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