Role of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001-2004

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 28;10(4):e0123547. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123547. eCollection 2014.


Objectives: Caffeine is consumed by more than 85% of adults and little is known about its role on erectile dysfunction (ED) in population-based studies. We investigated the association of caffeine intake and caffeinated beverages with ED, and whether these associations vary among comorbidities for ED.

Material and method: Data were analyzed for 3724 men (≥20 years old) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). ED was assessed by a single question during a self-paced, computer-assisted self-interview. We analyzed 24-h dietary recall data to estimate caffeine intake (mg/day). Multivariable logistic regression analyses using appropriate sampling weights were conducted.

Results: We found that men in the 3rd (85-170 mg/day) and 4th (171-303 mg/day) quintiles of caffeine intake were less likely to report ED compared to men in the lowest 1st quintile (0-7 mg/day) [OR: 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.89; and OR: 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38-0.97, respectively], but no evidence for a trend. Similarly, among overweight/obese and hypertensive men, there was an inverse association between higher quintiles of caffeine intake and ED compared to men in the lowest 1st quintile, P≤0.05 for each quintile. However, only among men without diabetes we found a similar inverse association (Ptrend = 0.01).

Conclusion: Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Comorbidity
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Caffeine

Grant support

Dr. David S. Lopez was supported by the Division of Urology—The University of Texas- Medical School at Houston. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.