The studies evaluating the effect of smoking on olfaction reveals opposite results. In vitro and animal studies and epidemiological evidence from volunteers and patients, demonstrated the association between olfaction and erectile functions. In smoking man the reduction of olfactory acuity could adversely affect sexuality. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between erectile dysfunction (ED) and olfactory dysfunction (OD) by comparing a group of healthy adult men with a group of smoking adult men. This prospective study involved 62 volunteers, who were recruited and divided into two groups; one consisted of 35 smoking adult men, and the other included 27 healthy non-smoking men. All participants in both groups were examined in detail for any condition with the potential to cause OD. They all had a normal genitourinary system suffered from no circulatory diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary artery disease nor hyperlipidemia; they had no history of medication affecting genitourinary system. Butanol threshold test and sniffin' stick® (Burghart, Wedel; Germany) screening test was used to asses olfactory functions in both groups. Participants' sexual desire was assessed using an International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) scale. The means of sniffin' sticks scores, butanol threshold scores and IIEF-5 scores were statistically higher in non-smoking group. Butanol threshold scores and sniffin' sticks scores are correlated statistically with IIEF-5 in non-smoking and smoking groups. This study found an association between olfaction and erectile function in smoking and non-smoking men. As far as we know this study is the third published study to show the relationship olfactory and erectile function. In the future studies electrophysiological olfactory methods could be used to confirm in large cohorts the results obtained by the psychophysical approach.
Keywords: Butanol threshold; Erectile dysfunction; International Index of Erectile Function scale; Olfactory dysfunction; Smoking; Sniffin' sticks.
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