Erectile Dysfunction

Have you been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction? Get ready for diabetes screening!

One of the issues of the “Annals of Family Medicine” published the material saying that erectile dysfunction can be a sign of hidden diabetes. The author of the survey asserted that ED diagnosis should warn the patient of the necessity to start diabetes screening because of the high risk of this disease in a person. Middle-aged patients should be concerned over this warning most of all as they face higher risk in comparison with others.

Sean C. Skeldon, MD, from Vancouver, Canada worked over the research with his colleagues from the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, the University of British Columbia. He writes in the article that detection of risk connected with undiscovered yet cardiometabolic risk factors can become a positive aspect that helps to reveal a disease on the early stage and, consequently, choose the appropriate treatment.

During the last decade, multiple evidence pointed to erectile dysfunction as an early sign of cardiovascular disorder.

The research conducted in 2001-2004 provided useful information about the male participants of the study from 20+ years old. All received data was carefully studied. The experts conducted analysis, looking for a link between the erectile dysfunction and cardiometabolic risk factors.

Logit model that estimates the probability of the risk also demonstrated if there was the connection between the erectile dysfunction and undiagnosed diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension.

The possibility of diabetes risk increased more than twice in male patients with erectile disorder in comparison with the group of patients who were not diagnosed with ED. At the same time the survey has not found any link between erectile dysfunction and hidden dyslipidemia or hypertension. According to analysis, the likelihood of hidden diabetes in middle-aged men was 1 in 10 patients diagnosed with ED, while the likelihood of having diabetes in men without erectile problems was 1 in 50 men.

Using fasting glucose analytic method it was revealed that incidence of diabetes reached 11.5% in erectile dysfunction patients, while incidence in participants without ED was only 2.8%. The biggest gap between two figures was observed in the cohort of middle-aged men (from 40-59). You can compare the result yourself: incidence of diabetes is 19.1% in ED patients against 3.3% in healthy men.

Physicians should inform the patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction with these facts to urge them get screening. It is necessary to make sure that there is no hidden diabetes in the patients. The researchers think that it should be of special concern for middle-aged men. The authors of the study consider that doctors should take this into consideration, ask for sexual histories and screen patients with erectile dysfunction.

The researchers also mention of limitations regarding those who underreport of diagnosis, changed screening in case the physicians knew of such sign and it was a marker for them. Also, the cross sectional design does not let to see the link between the risk of potential disease and erectile dysfunction.

In spite of the fact that researchers have found some similarity between cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes, erectile disorder is unique due to widespread symptomology and accessible methods of treatments. Men should take advantage of this knowledge and be ready for screening to avoid complications.