Improvement in erectile function in men with organic erectile dysfunction by correction of elevated cholesterol levels: a clinical observation

J Urol. 2004 Jul;172(1):255-8. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000132368.10458.66.


Purpose: We determined that use of a statin drug to lower cholesterol would improve erectile function in men who have hypercholesterolemia as the only risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED).

Materials and methods: A total of 18 men were determined to have increased cholesterol as the only risk factor for ED by history, system review, physical examination and laboratory analysis. Nine of these men agreed to participate in the study. Organic ED was verified by abnormal nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing with the RigiScan (UroHealth Systems, Inc., Laguna Niguel, California) and Sexual Health Inventory in Men questionnaire. Subjects were given atorvastatin with a goal decrease of total cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dl and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to less than 120 mg/dl. RigiScan measurements were compared before and after treatment with atrovastatin.

Results: Mean age +/- SD was 49.7 +/- 7.4 years. Mean length of treatment with atrorvastatin was 3.7 +/- 2.1 months. Clinically 8 of the 9 men had improved erection adequate for penetration during sexual intercourse. Mean questionnaire scores improved from 14.2 to 20.7 (p <0.001). Mean total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly after treatment (p <0.001). RigiScan measurements showed an increased average penile rigidity at the base (p <0.001) and tip (p <0.005) after treatment with atorvastatin.

Conclusions: Erectile function improves in men with hypercholesterolemia as the only risk factor for ED when treated with atorvastatin. Treating hypercholesterolemia may improve ED, while promoting primary cardiac prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atorvastatin
  • Comorbidity
  • Erectile Dysfunction / blood
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection / drug effects
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*


  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin