Diabetic men over 50 years of age are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than are non-diabetics. C. G. Bacon, at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, and colleagues studied the association between diabetes and erectile problems among a cohort of 2000 men selected from the more than 31,000 men aged 53 to 90 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
Subjects were mailed a questionnaire that asked about their ability to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse, without treatment. Those reporting poor or very poor function were considered to have erectile dysfunction. The subjects’ diabetes status was determined by questionnaire and then documented with supplementary medical data, the researchers said.
Men with diabetes had an age-adjusted relative risk of 1.32 for erectile dysfunction, compared with men without diabetes. A multivariable regression analysis showed that men with type 1 diabetes had an age-adjusted relative risk of 3.0, while those with type 2 diabetes had a relative risk of 1.3, the investigators found.
"For men over age 50 years, increasing duration of diabetes was positively associated with increased risk of erectile dysfunction relative to nondiabetic subjects," the researchers concluded. "This association persisted despite the higher prevalence of other comorbid conditions. Erectile dysfunction prevention and diabetes management efforts are likely to go hand-in-hand." Diabetes Care 2002; 8: 1458-1463.