Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds higher STD rates among users of erectile dysfunction drugs

06.07.2010
Results stress importance of counseling safer-sex practices, even for older patients

Physicians who prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs for their male patients should be sure to discuss the importance of safer sex practices, even with older patients: that is an important implication of a report in the July 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The analysis of insurance records of more than 1.4 million U.S. men over 40 found that those who used ED drugs were more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases than were non-users.

"Anyone who does not practice safer sex, no matter their age, can contract an STD," says Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Medicine, the study's lead author. "Even though STDs are quite rare among older men – on the order of 1 per 1,000 individuals – we found that STD rates in men who used ED drugs were two to three times higher, both before and after they filled their first prescription."

Jena and his co-authors note that ED drugs have become popular since sildenafil (Viagra) was first introduced in 1998. As early as 2002 it was estimated that up to 20 percent of U.S. men over 40 had tried an ED drug. Studies have shown both that rates of STDs, including HIV/AIDS, are rising in older individuals as well as the general public and that people over 50 are much less likely than those in their 20s to use condoms during sex or be tested for HIV infection. A survey of primary care physicians found that they rarely if ever discussed reducing sexual risk factors with middle aged or older patients.

Small studies of men who have sex with men had associated the use of ED drugs with higher-risk behaviors and increased rates of STDs. But no previous study had examined the relationship between ED drugs and STD risk in a large, representative sample of privately insured older men. For the current study, the researchers examined health insurance claims records covering 1997 though 2006 from 44 large U.S. employers. For male beneficiaries over 40 who used ED drugs, the researchers collected data covering one year before and one year after the first prescription was filled. Each ED drug user was matched with five non-users randomly selected from the database, for whom claims data covering the same two-year periods was collected.

The final study group included about 40,000 men who used ED drugs and nearly 1.37 million who did not. In both the year before and the year after the first ED drug prescription, users had significantly higher rates of STDs than non-users did in matching time periods. HIV/AIDS was the most frequently reported STD in both groups, followed by chlamydia. Since the prevalence of STDs did not markedly change after ED drug therapy began, the authors note that the difference between groups probably reflects higher-risk sexual practices among users of the drugs. The data gathered could not indicate whether ED drug use itself increased STD risk, but the authors are investigating that question in a further study.

"Health care providers need to recognize that their older adult patients who are on ED drugs are already at a higher risk of having or acquiring an STD," says Dana Goldman, PhD, director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California (USC), the study's senior author. "Both the physicians who prescribe these drugs and the pharmacists who fill those prescriptions should counsel all patients on the importance of safer sexual practices."

Co-authors of the Annals of Internal Medicine report are Amee Kamdar, PhD, University of Chicago; Darius Lakdawalla, PhD, Schaeffer Center at USC; and Yang Lu, PhD, RAND Corporation. The study was supported by grants from the RAND Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Bing Center for Health Economics.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $600 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

The Schaeffer Center at the University of Southern California is distinguished by a staff strategically recruited for its research and policy expertise. The center uses a novel, interdisciplinary approach to advance economic, health services and policy research and to train a new generation of global health policy leaders. Currently, the center conducts research and policy analysis to support evidence-based health care reform. Studies underway focus on critical health policy issues related to health care spending and value, the impacts of public policy on pharmaceutical innovation, insurance design, the macroeconomic consequences of US health care costs and comparative effectiveness and outcomes research.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>