High Blood Pressure Kills Sex

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´╗┐High Blood Pressure Kills Sex

High Blood Pressure Kills Sex

March 21, 2002 -- Men with high blood pressure may also encounter troubles in the bedroom, but the problem may not be with blood flow alone. New research suggests plummeting levels of the male hormone testosterone could partly be to blame.

"The study raises the overall issue of how sexual [problems] can be affected by common medical conditions," says Michael A. Weber, MD. Weber is chairman of the department of medicine at The Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center and is a professor of medicine and associate dean of the State University of New York, Health Science Center in Brooklyn.

The study shows middle-aged men with high blood pressure have sexual intercourse 25% less frequently each month and experience a 12% drop in testosterone levels compared with healthy men.

Researchers say sexual problems are common in men with high blood pressure, but it hasn't been clear whether the problems are caused by the hypertension itself or the medications used to treat the condition. But previous studies have suggested that sexual problems are much more common among non-treated patients.

This study, published in the March issue of American Journal of Hypertension, looked at 110 middle-aged married men who had recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but had never been treated with medication, and 110 healthy men.

Even though none of the hypertensive men had ever been treated with anti-high blood pressure medications, the study found they experienced a 25% drop in frequency of sexual activity. Researchers say that means something about the hypertension itself must be at work in creating sexual problems.

Testosterone levels were also much lower among the men with high blood pressure compared with the healthy men. Although the exact mechanism between low testosterone and hypertension is not known, researchers say this relationship "may be partly responsible for the reduced sexual activity observed in hypertensive men."

More than 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension, which puts extra stress on the heart and arteries and can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Experts say the study raises the general issue of how sexual dysfunction can be linked to common medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, and recommend that patients talk to their doctors about these issues.
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