Researchers say genetics link type 2 diabetes to impotence

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 21 Dec 2018
Researchers say genetics link type 2 diabetes to impotence
A genetic link has been found that connects erectile dysfunction and type 2 diabetes.

UK researchers report an association among people with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction, a complication which is more likely among people with diabetes.

This is not the first time type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction have been connected, but it is the first time researchers have demonstrated erectile dysfunction to be associated with genetics.

Making healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and could also lower the risk of experiencing complications.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford wanted to investigate how genetics might impact erectile dysfunction.

The findings were based on data taken from 220,000 men, 6,000 of whom were unable to achieve erections.

"Our paper echoes recent findings that the cause can be genetic, and it goes further," said co-lead author Dr Anna Murray, of the University of Exeter Medical School.

"We found that a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes is linked to erectile dysfunction. That may mean that if people can reduce their risk of diabetes through healthier lifestyles, they may also avoid developing erectile dysfunction."

Erectile dysfunction can be stressful for men. It can also indicate there are other health conditions evident, such as poor circulation or high blood pressure.

One of the lead authors, Professor Michael Holmes, of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, added: "Our finding is important as diabetes is preventable and indeed one can now achieve 'remission' from diabetes with weight loss, as illustrated in recent clinical trials.

"This goes beyond finding a genetic link to erectile dysfunction to a message that is of widespread relevance to the general public, especially considering the burgeoning prevalence of diabetes."

The findings have been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
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