Hemorrhoids may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), according to researchers in Taiwan.

The investigators, Joseph J. Keller, MD, and Herng-Ching Lin, MD, of Taipei Medical University, studied 6,310 men with ED and compared them with 31,550 randomly selected controls. A total of 1,572 (24.9%) ED patients and 4,491 (14.20%) controls had a history of hemorrhoids.

Compared with controls, ED patients were nearly twice as likely to have a history of hemorrhoids after adjusting for hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and other potential confounders, researchers reported online in the International Journal of Andrology. ED patients younger than 30 years were 3.7 times as likely to have had hemorrhoids.