Background: Health-related quality of life (QOL) is affected in hemodialysis patients (HD). A number of factors such as age, anemia, and comorbidity had been implicated in decreased QOL. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent and potentially treatable complication in HD patients. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate the possible relation between the QOL and ED in HD patients.
Patients and methods: Among the 511 chronic HD patients dialyzed in 11 outpatient HD centers, 148 male patients (mean age: 46 +/- 9 years) were included. The mean time on dialysis was 41 +/- 35 months (range: 3-203 months). Biochemical parameters such as BUN, creatinine, hemoglobin, serum albumin and Kt/V were measured. The QOL of the patients were measured with the short form of Medical Outcomes Study (SF-36), physical component scores (PCS) and mental component scores (MCS) were calculated. The ED was evaluated by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).
Results: One hundred and four of the 148 patients (70%) had ED. Hemoglobin levels were correlated with PCS (r = 0.197, p = 0.02) and MCS (r = 0.20, p = 0.019). Patients with ED had lower scores in nearly all the components related to PCS and MCS as compared to patients without ED. IIEF score was correlated with PCS (r = 0.369, p < 0.001) and MCS (r = 0.308, p < 0.001). In linear regression analysis, IIEF score and hemoglobin levels were the independent variables that predicted both PCM and MCS.
Conclusion: ED, a frequent complication in HD patients, was related to QOL together with anemia. Successful treatment of ED and anemia may lead to improvement in QOL in HD patients.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel