Drop your cholesterol before dropping your pants, or so suggests a new study out of Rutgers University. Researchers there analyzed 11 studies on erectile dysfunction and statins, which are prescribed to lower cholesterol along with heart attack and stroke risk. What they found was that in addition to lowering those risks, statins "also improve erectile function in the men included in our analysis," says lead researcher John Kostis, who notes that erectile dysfunction often goes hand in hand with cardiovascular disease, and can even be a warning sign of it. While further research is needed—and Kostis notes doctors shouldn't prescribe statins solely for erectile dysfunction—he thinks the finding could be a good factoid for doctors to use in convincing patients who need statins to take them as prescribed.
The Rutgers press release on the 11 studies assessed all used the International Inventory of Erectile Function, "a self-reporting evaluation of male sexual function considered the standard of measurement in clinical trials of ED." It's not the only new ED-related research that made use of the IIEF. A small study published in the Central European Journal of Urology looked at 20 men with a history of ED and 10 without, and the researchers found a correlation involving cell phones. Specifically, the group with ED carried turned-on cell phones 4.4 hours per day, while those without logged 1.8 hours. But the Independent emphasizes that more research is needed. (In other ED news, a recent report found that between 2006 and 2011, the US government spent $172 million on penis pumps.)