NEW YORK, July 31 (UPI) -- Obesity in men affects not just their hearts and metabolism, but also their sexual function and urinary health, U.S. researchers said.
Senior investigator Dr. Steven A. Kaplan of the Weill Cornell Medical College -- director of the Iris Cantor Men's Health Center and chief of the Institute for Bladder and Prostate Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell -- and colleagues studied 409 men diagnosed with lower urinary tract symptoms.
Of the participants enrolled in the study, ranging from 40-91 years of age, 37.5 percent had a waist circumference of less than 36 inches, 33.5 percent had waists between 36 to 40 inches and 29 percent had waists greater than 40 inches.
Investigators found a larger waist size was linked to more frequent urination: 39 percent of men with the biggest waistlines urinated more than eight times in 24 hours, compared to 27 percent of men in the middle range and 16 percent of men with the smallest waists.
"The findings demonstrate that obesity in men -- part of a growing global epidemic -- affects their well-being in profound ways," Kaplan said in a statement. "We have to think of the body in a much more holistic way. What we eat can have devastating consequences on more than just our hearts. Quality of life issues, such as sexual and voiding health, can be affected as well in drastic ways."
Additional findings conducted since this study was completed show eliminating just 2.5 inches from the belly's circumference might lead to measurable improvement in sexual dysfunction and frequent urination, Kaplan said.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Urology International.