Sexual Health Q&A

Are there personal health risk factors associated with Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by areas of bone-like collagen plaques that form inside the penis. Because these plaques are hard and inflexible, they cause the penis to bend. Peyronie’s disease can be painful and make sexual intercourse difficult.

The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown, but it is believed to be a wound healing disorder. In other words, the penis is injured and doesn’t heal properly. Peyronie’s disease may also be genetic or linked to certain connective tissue disorders like Dupuytren's contracture.

Personal health risk factors may also be involved. For example, high blood sugar and tobacco use may make it harder for wounds to heal normally. These factors could, indirectly, make a man more likely to develop Peyronie’s disease. Other potential risk factors include diabetes, heart disease, alcohol use, and high cholesterol.

In 2015, a team of Italian scientists investigated erectile dysfunction (ED), smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure as possible risk factors for Peyronie’s disease. After collecting data from a group of 279 men (97 with Peyronie’s disease, 182 without), they found that cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and ED were associated with Peyronie’s disease, but diabetes was not.

These results do not mean that any of these conditions cause Peyronie’s disease. The scientists explained that more study is necessary to see if removing a potential risk factor reduces rates of Peyronie’s disease.

With that said, quitting smoking and controlling blood sugar and blood pressure are always good steps to take for your overall health, regardless of any association with Peyronie’s disease.

Men who are concerned about Peyronie’s disease should see their doctor.