Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection increases the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), according to researchers in Taiwan.

Investigators compared 1,717 male HSV-infected patients with 6,864 male controls without HSV and matched for age, time of enrollment, and comorbidities. During an average of 3.9 years of follow-up, HSV-infected subjects had a higher incidence of ED than controls (1.7% vs. 0.7%), they reported in Andrology (2013;1:240-244). Further analyses showed that HSV infection was independently associated with a nearly threefold increased risk of ED.

The researchers noted that ED and HSV infections are related to cardiovascular events.

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The study excluded men with a previous history of stroke, spinal cord injury, or malignancy. The HSV-infected subjects had a mean age of 43 years.