Men's Health Watch

Published Online: Thursday, June 14, 2012
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Erectile Dysfunction Medication Misuse by Young Men Hurts Their Confidence

Young men who take erectile dysfunction medications (EDMs) recreationally without a prescription may inadvertently harm their sexual egos, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Abusing erectile dysfunction medications may impact psychological aspects of sexual function, primarily by affecting one’s confidence in getting and maintaining an erection without the help of the drug.

The study sample comprised 1207 sexually active men who were recruited from undergraduate institutions within the United States. Participants were asked to complete an online survey assessing frequency of EDM use, as well as levels of sexual function (erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall sexual satisfaction) and levels of confidence in ability to gain and maintain an erection.

Nearly 6% of the men in the sample reported taking EDMs. The study authors, led by Christopher Harte, PhD, noted that the more EDMs the men took, the worse they felt about themselves and their sexual performance.

“Results underscore the possibility that recreational EDM use among healthy young men may lead to psychogenic ED,” the authors wrote. “Additional longitudinal research is necessary to establish a causal link between these variables.”


Load-Bearing Exercise May Stave Off Osteoporosis in Young Men

Playing sports that involve jumping and fast starts for 4 hours or more a week may help young men gain protection from developing osteoporosis, according to a study that was recently published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

“Men who increased their loadbearing activity from age 19 to 24 not only developed more bone, but also had larger bones compared to men who were sedentary during the same period,” said senior study author Mattias Lorentzon, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg.

Building bone mass is important in the prevention of osteoporosis, according to prior studies. Dr. Lorentzon and colleagues examined 833 men who were 18 to 20 years of age at the onset of the study and measured the participants’ bone density and exercise habits over the course of 5 years.

The study found that the men who played load-bearing sports for 4 hours or more a week showed an increase in hip bone density of 1.3%, whereas men who were sedentary lost approximately 2.1% of bone mass in the hip. Of the activities in which the men engaged, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and tennis were found to be the most beneficial for building bone mass.


Risks of PSA Screening Shown to Outweigh Benefits

Most men may now be able to avoid undergoing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings, based on results from a new report from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The results of the report show that PSA screenings do not reduce prostate cancer deaths and that PSA-based testing can actually be harmful.

“There is convincing evidence that the number of men who avoid dying of prostate cancer because of screening after 10 to 14 years is, at best, very small,” the task force panel wrote in an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The potential harms related to PSA screening, on the other hand, are well known. Men may suffer psychological damage when they receive a false-positive test result, and many have to undergo painful prostate biopsies, some of which are associated with adverse health events.

The USPSTF based its recommendations on data from 2 large trials, one of which showed no difference in prostate cancer mortality between screened and control groups. The other trial had too few lives saved to be statistically significant, according to the panel.

Critics of the recommendation, including the American Urological Association, the Men’s Health Network, and the Veterans Health Council, believe that there are many at-risk populations that should still be eligible for screening. They also contest that forgoing routine PSA testing would cause more people to discover their cancer at advanced, incurable stages.



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