Erectile dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea patients: A randomized trial on the effects of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Erectile dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea patients: A randomized trial on the effects of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Pascual M, de Batlle J, Barbé F, Castro-Grattoni AL, Auguet JM, Pascual L, Vilà M, Cortijo A, Sánchez-de-la-Torre M. PLoS One. 2018 Aug 8;13(8)


OBJECTIVES: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is among the least studied risk factors for erectile dysfunction (ED). We aimed to determine ED prevalence in newly-diagnosed OSA patients, describe their main characteristics and assess continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) effects on ED. METHODS: Cross-sectional study assessing ED prevalence in OSA patients and open-label, parallel, prospective randomized controlled trial evaluating 3-month CPAP treatment effects on sexual function, satisfaction, and psychological, hormonal and biochemical profiles. Male patients newly diagnosed with moderate/severe OSA (apnea-hypopnea index >20 events·h-1), aged 18-70 years, attending the sleep unit of a Spanish hospital during 2013-2016 were considered. A total of 150 patients were recruited (75 randomized ED patients). ED was defined as scores <25 on International Index Erectile Function 15 test. Wilcoxon’s matched-pairs signed-ranks and rank-sum tests were used. RESULTS: ED prevalence was 51%. Patients with ED were older (p<0.001), had greater waist-to-hip ratios (p<0.001), were more frequently undergoing pharmacological treatment (p<0.001) and had higher glucose levels (p = 0.024) than non-ED patients. Although significant increases in erectile function (mean(SD) change: +4.6(7.9); p = 0.002), overall satisfaction (+1(2.2); p = 0.035), and sexual satisfaction (+2.1(4.3); p = 0.003) were found after CPAP treatment, only differences in sexual satisfaction (p = 0.027) and erectile function (p = 0.060) were found between study arms. CPAP treatment did not impact psychological, hormonal or biochemical profiles. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirmed the relationship between OSA and ED, suggesting the potential usefulness of ED screening in OSA patients, but could not determine conclusively whether CPAP is an effective stand-alone ED treatment, regardless of positive results on sexual satisfaction.


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