Researchers in Austria and Egypt uncovered unsettling results concerning mobile radiation, but say further research is needed.
A new study has found a possible link between mobile phone usage and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Teams working in Austria and Egypt found that men carrying a switched-on mobile phone were far more likely to suffer from the condition, but stopped short of confirming a definite connection between the two.
Published in the Central European Journal of Urology, the study covered a group of 20 men who had complained of ED for at least six months, as well as another group of 10 healthy men with no history of ED.
The two groups had no significant differences regarding age, weight, height, smoking, total testosterone or any exposure to other known sources of radiation. Both groups completed the German version of the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) for evaluation of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), as well as another questionnaire designed to assess their mobile phone usage.
According to the researchers, the men suffering from ED carried their switched-on mobiles ‘significantly longer’ than the group not suffering from ED – an average of 4.4 hours a day for the former compared with just 1.8 hours for the latter.
The study also found that the men with ED used their mobile phones more, with the researchers concerned at the total time of exposure to the electromagnetic waves (EMW) given out by mobiles over the course of a day. This was seen as ‘much more important’ than the relatively short duration of intense exposure when making phone calls.
The teams said that further studies needed to be done in order to confirm the findings, saying that, "there was no strong evidence to prove the detrimental effects of cell phone usage." They did, however, advise that caution should be taken when using mobile devices.
The report says that ED is a ‘very common’ condition that can affect up to 50% of men over 40 years old. It can be triggered by diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, among other factors.