(HealthDay News) – For men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is associated with an improvement in sexual function and satisfaction, with more robust improvements seen for men with baseline erectile dysfunction (ED).

Joseph W. Dombrowsky, MD, from Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues conducted a prospective analysis of 92 men without diabetes (mean age, 45.8 years), with newly diagnosed OSA initiating CPAP therapy, to investigate the prevalence of ED and decreased libido. At baseline and after one, three, and six months of CPAP therapy, results from the international index of erectile function (IIEF) and functional outcomes of sleep questionnaire (FOSQ) were recorded.

At baseline, the researchers found that ED was present in 45.6% of men, and 27.2% had decreased libido. For men with and without ED, CPAP therapy correlated with improved sexual function and satisfaction, with greater improvements from baseline seen for men with ED. Improvements were noted in IIEF function, IIEF satisfaction, FOSQ, and FOSQ sexual domain scores. Regular use of CPAP among men with ED correlated with an 88.3% improvement in the FOSQ sexual domain, 71.7% improvement in IIEF function, and normalization of IIEF function in 41.2%.

“We were surprised at how prevalent ED is in a relatively young population of men with sleep apnea. The average age was 45,” Dombrowsky said in a statement. “But we were similarly surprised at how robust a clinically significant response the men had with CPAP therapy.”

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