Background: The effects of age and concomitant chronic illness on male sexual function were investigated to obtain insight into the prevention of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Methods: A questionnaire from the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) was given to 2311 non-institutionalized men aged 23-79 years along with a survey of health status. The study sample consisted of 1517 men who provided complete responses to the questionnaire. For statistical analysis, ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the effect of aging on the sexual functions and a logistic regression model was used to identify significant independent risk factors for ED.
Results: There was a significant correlation between age and the scores for erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire and intercourse satisfaction. The prevalence of moderate and severe cases of ED were 1.8% and 0% for ages 23-29; 2.6% and 0% for ages 30-39; 7.6% and 1.0% for ages 40-49; 14.0% and 6.0% for ages 50-59; 25.9% and 15.9% for ages 60-69; and 27.9% and 36.4% for ages 70-79 years, respectively. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, chronic hepatitis, disc herniation and cerebral infarction under treatment with anticoagulants were significant independent risk factors for ED.
Conclusions: The results obtained indicated a significant association between aging and chronic diseases and erectile function. Further epidemiologic research and analysis of individual risk factors are required to allow more effective future strategies for the treatment and prevention of ED.