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Harvard study: Erectile dysfunction linked to concussions in NFL players

Vincent Frank
NFL Logo. NFL changes rule on injured reserve.

As if NFL players had anything else they needed to worry about as they navigate through a violent sport.

A recent study at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School concludes that NFL players dealing with concussions are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

This is not a drill.

“We found the same association of concussions with ED among both younger and older men in the study, and we found the same risk of ED among men who had last played 20 years ago,” one of the study’s lead authors Andrea Roberts wrote in the report . “These findings suggest that increased risk of ED following head injury may occur at relatively young ages and may linger for decades thereafter.”

  • The results were based on a survey of 3,409 former NFL players. The average age for said players was 52 with an age range of 24-to-89.
  • The players were asked how often they felt concussion symptoms during their playing days.
  • They were then asked whether a health professional had recommended medication for either low testosterone or ED and if they were taking said medication.

The results were eye-opening.

  • Former NFL players reporting concussion symptoms have nearly twice the risk of developing erectile dysfunction than those with fewer symptoms.
  • The elevated risk was also common with former players on the lower-end of the age scale, starting at just 24 years old.
  • The results may also be prevalent in other contact sports such as hockey, soccer and boxing.

We already know just how many former NFL players are struggling with Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

It continues to impact their quality of life with multiple former NFLers having committed suicide while dealing with the condition.

This latest study adds a whole new layer to the issue. Needless to say, it has impacted the lives of those who haven’t sought treatment.