(HealthDay News) — For men with recent acute myocardial infarction, a home-based walking program is associated with a reduction in reported erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Isis Begot, from São Paulo Hospital in Brazil, and colleagues examined the influence of a home-based walking program on erectile function in patients with recent myocardial infarctions. Participants deemed to be at low cardiovascular risk were randomized to either a home-based walking group (41 patients) or a control group (45 patients) receiving usual care. At hospital discharge and 30 days later, the researchers determined functional capacity by the 6-minute walk test and assessed sexual function by the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. At hospital discharge, 84% of participants reported previous ED.

The researchers found that, compared with baseline, after 30 days there was a 9% increase in ED in the control group. In contrast, a 71% decrease was reported in ED in the home-based walking group (P < 0.0001). Compared with the control group, in the home-based walking group the 6-minute walk distance was significantly higher. At 30 days after hospital discharge there was a significant negative correlation between 6-minute walk distance and ED.

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“This intervention demonstrated a link between functional capacity and exercise training and erectile function improvement,” the authors write.


  1. Begot, I, et al. The American Journal of Cardiology; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.12.007.