Objectives: Some men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have difficulties discussing their condition with their physicians. Existing screening and diagnostic tools for ED often require the administration of personal questions regarding the condition. We present a simple risk score to estimate the individual likelihood of somatic ED, based on age and existing health conditions.
Methods: Data from the Cologne Male Survey (n = 4396) were used to develop a multivariable logistic regression model for the individual ED likelihood. The regression equation was both internally and externally validated using data from a national study (Berlin study) and a multinational cross-sectional study (MALES study).
Results: A final regression equation including age, pelvic surgery, diabetes mellitus, arterial circulatory disorder, heart disease, smoking, and hypertension reached an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.84 (0.5 means random and 1.0 perfect discrimination). Internal validation did not indicate any relevant overfit and the external validation results (national data: AUC = 0.75; multinational data: AUC = 0.67) are similar to those of other popular risk scores.
Conclusions: The validated ED risk score developed from the regression equation can be used as a screening tool to identify patients who are at a high risk of somatic ED. This tool can facilitate entering into discussions between physicians and patients regarding erectile function.