DÄ internationalArchive19/2010Association With Sleep Apnea
LNSLNS Obstructive sleep apnea in adults is an additional factor for erectile dysfunction that the authors did not include in their review article. An association between the two conditions was suspected (1) as early as in 1981.

If breathing problems arise during the night, erectile dysfunction affects 44% with an apnea index of 5/hour (the apnea index measures the number of episodes without breathing per hour’s sleep), 27.9% if the index is 5–10/hour, and 19.6% if the index is more than 15/hour—as shown by a study including 1025 persons. Hypoxia, which occurs often intermittently with sleep apnea, and the ensuing reduction in NO synthase are likely to be important causes of erectile dysfunction (3). In a proportion of patients who receive the usual treatment for sleep apnea—continuous positive airway pressure at night—their erectile dysfunction improves too.
DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0350a

Dr. med. Holger Hein
Arzt für Innere Medizin, Pneumologie, Allergologie und Schlafmedizin
Bahnhofstr. 9, 21465 Reinbek, Germany
dr.holger.hein@web.de
1.
Schmidt HS, Wise HA: Significance of impaired penile tumescence and associated polysomnographic abnormalities in the impotent patient. J Urol 1981; 126: 348–52. MEDLINE
2.
Hirshkowitz M, Karacan I, Arcasoy MO, Acik G, Narter EM, Williams RL: Prevalence of sleep apnea in men with erectile dysfunction. Urology 1990; 36: 232–4. MEDLINE
3.
Soukhova-O’Hare GK, Shah ZA, Lei Z, Nozdrachev AD, Rao CV, Gozal D: Erectile dysfunction in a murine model of sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178: 644–50. MEDLINE
4.
Rösing D, Klebingat KJ, Berberich H, Bosinski H, Loewit K, Beier K: Sexual dysfunctions in men – Diagnosis and treatment from a sexological interdisciplinary perspective [Sexualstörungen des Mannes – Diagnostik und Therapie aus sexualmedizinisch-interdisziplinärer Sicht]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106(50): 821–8. VOLLTEXT
1. Schmidt HS, Wise HA: Significance of impaired penile tumescence and associated polysomnographic abnormalities in the impotent patient. J Urol 1981; 126: 348–52. MEDLINE
2. Hirshkowitz M, Karacan I, Arcasoy MO, Acik G, Narter EM, Williams RL: Prevalence of sleep apnea in men with erectile dysfunction. Urology 1990; 36: 232–4. MEDLINE
3. Soukhova-O’Hare GK, Shah ZA, Lei Z, Nozdrachev AD, Rao CV, Gozal D: Erectile dysfunction in a murine model of sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178: 644–50. MEDLINE
4. Rösing D, Klebingat KJ, Berberich H, Bosinski H, Loewit K, Beier K: Sexual dysfunctions in men – Diagnosis and treatment from a sexological interdisciplinary perspective [Sexualstörungen des Mannes – Diagnostik und Therapie aus sexualmedizinisch-interdisziplinärer Sicht]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106(50): 821–8. VOLLTEXT