ORLANDO—Drinking caffeinated beverages may be associated with a lower likelihood of erectile dysfunction (ED), according to study findings presented at the American Urological Association 2014 annual meeting.

David S. Lopez, DrPH, MPH, MS, of the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,724 men aged 20 years and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2004), a cross-sectional survey of the general U.S. population. The researchers looked at 24-hour dietary recall to estimate intake of caffeine and caffeinated beverages.

Overall, men in the 3rd quintile of total caffeine intake (85-170 mg/day) and the 4th quintile (171-303 mg/day) were less likely to report ED compared with men in the first (reference) quintile (0-7 mg/day).

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Among overweight and obese men and those with hypertension, the researchers found a significantly decreased likelihood of reported ED among men in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th quintiles compared with the reference quartile, after adjusting for multiple variables. 

The authors concluded that total caffeine intake equivalent to about 2-3 cups of coffee (250-375 mg/day) is associated with a significantly lower likelihood to report ED.

Dr. Lopez’s team noted that their study is strengthened by the use of a large representative sample of men in the U.S. and validated dietary recall methodology from NHANES.  As NHANES is a cross-sectional study, they cannot infer causality or suggest a clinical practice change, the researchers pointed out.