Everyone but the supremely gullible know that the SARS-Cov2 virus caused the Covid-19 pandemic that has so far resulted in more than 662 million infections and more than 6.6 million deaths globally1.
Much research has been undertaken which show the long-term effects of infection with the virus on multiple organ systems, and the increased risk to those organ systems of multiple SARS-Cov2 infections2.
Now, several studies from earlier this year indicated that there is a link between SARS-Cov2 infection and erectile dysfunction (ED). One study notes that Covid-19 has affected men more than women, as they tend to have more severe disease and higher mortality rates. Androgens may be responsible for the more severe disease, as androgen receptors have been implicated in the mediation of viral cell entry and infection. In addition to this, male reproductive organs have been reported to be affected in especially severe cases of the disease, resulting in ED. Current evidence indicates that endothelial dysfunction, direct testicular damage, and the psychological burden of Covid-19 are the pathways to ED3.
A second study assessed the risk of ED in men with Covid-19 in the United States (US) using the TriNetX Research Network, a federated electronic medical records network of over 42 healthcare organisations and 66 million patients from the US. They identified adult men (≥18 years) with a recorded Covid-19 infection since January 1, 2020, and compared them to an equivalent number of adult men who did not have Covid-19 over the same timeframe. Men with a prior history or diagnosis of ED before January 1, 2020 were, of course, excluded. The study also took account of the confounding variables of age, race, body mass index (BMI), and history of the following comorbidities: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, or hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglycerides).
They then compared 230,517 men with Covid-19 to 232,645 men without Covid-19 and found that Covid-19 diagnosis was significantly associated with ED (odds ratio 1.20, 95% CI = 1.004-1.248). This indicates there is an increased chance of new onset ED after Covid-19 infection4.
These and several other studies were followed by a metastudy (a study of previous studies)
which, in part, summarised existing published evidence for the impact of COVID-19 on the prevalence, severity, treatment, and management of ED. They found that the evidence that Covid-19 infection causes or impacts ED is compelling. Four topics emerged regarding the nature of the association between Covid-19 and ED. These were: the biological impact of Covid-19 infection on ED; the mental health impact of Covid-19 on ED; the impact of Covid-19 on the management of ED; and health disparities and the impact of Covid-19 on ED. They determined that long-term studies are needed to clarify the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on ED5.
It was determined some time ago that those people not taking precautions (vaccination, mask-wearing, avoidance of crowds) against infection with SARS-Cov2, are more likely to die than those taking precautions and who are therefore less likely to catch it6, 7. Now we find that not only are those not taking precaustions more likely to die, but they are less likely to be able to stand to attention when required for some horizontal folk dancing. In time, could this make the average intelligence of the human species just that tiny bit higher?