Cigarette smoking as risk factor for erectile dysfunction: Results from an Italian epidemiological study

Vincenzo Mirone, Ciro Imbimbo, Angela Bortolotti, Elisabetta Di Cintio, Enrico Colli, Marina Landoni, Maurizio Lavezzari, Fabio Parazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We analysed the role of smoking on the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) using data from a cross-sectional study on prevalence and risk factors for ED in the general population in Italy. Methods: A total of 2010 men aged more than 18 years were randomly identified and interviewed by 143 general practitioners among their registered patients. Patients were asked "about their ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance." If they were dissatisfied, they were defined as having ED. Results: In comparison with never smokers, current smokers had an odds ratio (OR) of ED of 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-2.4) and ex-smokers of 1.6 (95% CI, 1.1-2.3). The association between smoking and ED risk was present in subjects without a history of any cardiovascular disease, cardiopathy, hypertension, diabetes and neuropathy, but not in those with a history of these conditions. For example, the ORs of ED in smokers, in comparison with never smokers, were respectively 2.4, 2.0 and 1.7 in men with no history of any cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neuropathy, but respectively 1.0, 1.0 and 1.2 in those with a history of the conditions. Conclusions: This study shows that the risk of ED is influenced by smoking and that the duration of the habit increases the risk. Further, it highlights the potential interaction of smoking with medical history on ED risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-297
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2002


  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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