The incidence of cancer in the five years after a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED) is significantly higher than in the general population, according to researchers in Taiwan.

Herng-Ching Lin, PhD, of Taipei Medical University, and colleagues studied 1,882 men with ED and 9,410 randomly selected subjects who were used for comparison.

Within a five-year follow-up period, cancer developed in 43 ED patients (2.3%) and 140 individuals in the comparison cohort (1.6%), the authors reported online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. After adjusting for hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, hyperlipidemia, patients’ monthly income, geographic location, and urbanization level of the community in which the patient lived, the ED patients had a significant 42% increased odds of having cancer during the follow-up period than the comparison patients. The authors pointed out that data on smoking, which is an important factor in ED and cancer, were not available and remains a potential confounder.

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