do statins lower male sex drive?...

An Italian study of men being treated for erectile dysfunction finds an association between the use of cholesterol-lowering statins and low levels of the male hormone testosterone.

The study 'sends a signal worthy of observation' said the editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that about 16 percent of U.S. adults use statins, and many it seems, claim that their sexual performance declined after they started taking a statin.

Men who take statins and have sexual problems shouldn't stop taking the drug. They should see a doctor for a blood test. If their testosterone is low they should not stop taking statins but should consider starting testosterone treatment. 

The Italian study is important because it is the first to bring up this message in a large number of men.  Several scattered studies have found a relationship between statin use and lower levels of male hormones. 

A U.S. study reported in 2007 by the New England Research Institutes, also found lower levels of testosterone in a general population of men taking statins. 

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