Associations between body mass index, waist circumference and erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and META-analysis


Growing evidence reports that obesity might play a role in erectile dysfunction (ED), but limited knowledge is available. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of ED in overweight men and men with obesity. We performed a systematic review up to 01/04/2019 to investigate the associations between obesity and ED. Applying a random-effect model, we calculated the prevalence of ED, the odds ratio (OR) for the presence of ED by Body Mass Index (BMI) categories and the mean differences between ED and controls in BMI and Waist Circumference (WC). Among 3409 studies, we included 45 articles with 42,489 men (mean age = 55 years). Taking normal weight men as reference, the prevalence of ED was significantly higher in overweight (OR = 1.31; 95%CI: 1.13–1.51; I2 = 72%) and in men with obesity (OR = 1.60; 95%CI: 1.29–1.98; I2 = 79%). Adjusting our analyses for potential confounders, the results were confirmed in men with obesity (OR = 1.46; 95%CI: 1.24–1.72; I2 = 72%). ED was associated with significant higher values of BMI (MD = 0.769; 95%CI: 0.565–0.973 Kg/m2; I2 = 78%) and WC (MD = 5.251 cm; 95%CI: 1.295–9.208; I2 = 96%). Considering the high prevalence of ED among men with obesity, clinicians should screen for this clinical condition in this population. Findings from the present study suggest that reducing adiposity is a crucial approach in patients with ED who are affected by obesity.

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Pizzol, D., Smith, L., Fontana, L. et al. Associations between body mass index, waist circumference and erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and META-analysis. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 21, 657–666 (2020).

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  • Obesity
  • Body mass index
  • Waist
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Meta-analysis