Erectile Dysfunction Common in Primary Care Patients

Erectile Dysfunction

A third study of Canadian men visiting primary care physicians indicates that about half of them report having erectile dysfunction, and that it is linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, future heart disease risk and increased fasting blood sugar levels.

“Primary care physicians are uniquely positioned to inquire about a patient’s sexual function during a routine office visit,” the authors write. “They can also screen for modifiable risk factors and treatable comorbidities. However, there is little information available regarding the prevalence of� � erectile dysfunction among patients seen in this clinical setting.”

Steven A. Grover, M.D., M.P.A., F.R.C.P.C., Montreal General Hospital and McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues surveyed 3,921 men aged 40 to 88 years who visited one of 75 primary care physicians between July 20, 2001, and Nov. 13, 2002. Participants gave medical histories and received physical examinations, including measurements of fasting blood sugar and lipid levels.

Almost half (49.4 percent) of the men reported ED during the previous four weeks or were taking medication for erectile dysfunction, the authors report. Men with cardiovascular disease and diabetes were most likely to have erectile dysfunction. Among men without cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the calculated future risk of developing these conditions was linked to likelihood of having erectile dysfunction. “These data demonstrate that primary care physicians may find that taking a sexual history provides important clinical information beyond the detection of erectile dysfunction,” the authors conclude. (Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:213-219)