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Could Erectile Dysfunction Be Genetic?

Nov 19, 2018

Could Erectile Dysfunction Be Genetic? If a man’s father or grandfather has erectile dysfunction (ED), could the man be at higher risk? Scientists might be closer to an answer.

ED – an inability to get or keep an firm erection – affects millions of men around the world and becomes more common as men get older. The condition is often related to other health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, or multiple sclerosis. But past research on twins has suggested that about a third of ED cases are genetic.

Scientists think they have found a specific genetic location (called the genetic locus) in the human DNA that affects erections. They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America last month.

The location is near the SIM1 gene, which is thought to be related to obesity.

The researchers examined data from two genome-wide association studies. The first study used genetic information from the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging cohort, a division of the Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health.

This project involved 36,648 men with ED who had completed an ED survey or been treated for ED.

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