Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome than those without ED, a Spanish study found.

Miguel Angel Arrabal-Polo, MD, of San Cecilio University Hospital in Granada and colleagues found that metabolic syndrome was present in 64.9% of 37 ED patients compared with only 9.5% of 28 healthy controls, according to a report in The Scientific World Journal (2012; published online ahead of print). After adjusting for confounding factors, ED patients had a 20 times increased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome.

The study found no link between ED and levels of total, free, or bioavailable testosterone. In addition, higher systolic blood pressure and levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for systemic inflammation, predicted a high percentage of changes in International Index of Erectile Function.

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“Chronic inflammation found in patients with ED might explain the association between ED and metabolic syndrome,” the authors concluded.