Aims: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in diabetes and may be related to the high prevalence of hypertension and consequent anti-hypertensive drug therapy in diabetic patients. The risk factors for ED were studied with particular reference to hypertension and anti-hypertensive drugs.
Methods: We performed a retrospective case note analysis of 763 consecutive male patients (34% Type 1 diabetes, 65% Type 2 diabetes) attending an adult diabetic clinic to collect data on risk factors for ED. We specifically recorded the use of anti-hypertensive drugs.
Results: Two hundred and ninety-nine (39%) patients had ED. Mean age of patients with ED (61 years) was higher than those without (mean age 51 years, P < 0.001). The mean age of hypertensive patients was also significantly higher than those without. On multivariate regression analysis, age (P < 0.001), macrovascular disease (P < 0.001), sensorimotor neuropathy (P < 0.001) and HbA1c (P < 0.05) predicted ED. Neither hypertension nor any anti-hypertensive medication independently predicted ED.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that ED in diabetic patients with hypertension may be related to the higher age and prevalence of macrovascular disease rather than hypertension or its treatment.