Out of hundreds of things which contribute to Erectile Dysfunction— a disorder which snatches the ability to get a firm or persistent erection, one question which intrigues me the most is— do dads pass erectile dysfunction to their kids?

A lot has been researched about the genetic effect of ED, and scientists believe that they have solved the genetic puzzle of ED by finding out the genetic association.


Some studies indicate that about one in every three ED-affected patients has genetic reasons.

However, the limited number of sample respondents and weak genotype make it tough to decode the genetic link.

Let’s check the study conducted in Kaiser Permanente Northern California Genetic Epidemiology Research Center which unleashes necessary inferences.

The test

The test got conducted on a large sample size of respondents who were suffering from ED.

As much as 36,649 patients got tested with whole genome association (WGA) study which dealt with the observational study of the genetic variant.

Note: The study of genetic variants helps to check if any variant is associated with the trait.

For better insight, the researchers conducted replication analysis in 222,358 men from the UK biorepository— the repository which stashes the biological samples of humans.

The researchers read a gene variation in a particular spot in the human genome close to the SIM1 gene— the gene which is closely linked with the likable risk of erectile dysfunction.

During the study, Navneet Matharu and his team stated that “In our discovery multi-ethnic GWAS analysis, we identified a single locus on chromosome 6 with multiple non-coding SNPs that were associated at a genome-wide level of significance with erectile dysfunction[1].”

The study was adjusted for each risk factors. The team added “Because the risk of erectile dysfunction has been associated with a number of other risk factors, including higher BMI, diabetes, benign prostatic hyperplasia, lower urinary tract symptoms, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and smoking status, we conducted analyses adjusting for each of these risk factors individually and combined in GERA to determine whether the risk locus imparted its effect via one of these risk factors.”

Although the study is at the infant phase, the positive intent to discover the genetic linkage could help us in better treatment and enhance our preventative approaches for it.

What does it mean for the future?

Some studies suggest that Viagra doesn’t work in 40% of the patients.

The study of the gene could improve the gene therapy for erectile dysfunction.

As gene therapy for cancer has gained traction where defective or missing genes are replaced with the healthy or working genes, the gene therapy for erectile disorder could open the passage for humankind to fight a silent war against it.

The existing therapies like Maxi-K gene therapy are closely monitored in the phase 2 test. Their potential and safety are under evaluation trials, and a little success could induce hope in the men who couldn’t get relief from the oral therapies [2].

Earlier in the phase 1 trial on the participants, the safety and the therapeutic impact of the gene therapy demonstrated essential data. The effect of the therapy stayed up to 6-8 months in some men. The treatment was declared safe when there were no adverse events reported even after two years of therapy [3].

What do you make out of this write-up? Do you think that your dad passed ED to you? Do you believe that you could give it to your son? How effective do you consider this study in regards to elevating the standard of living? Let’s us know about what you think about the genetic research of the disease and where do you see this industry in the years to come.