Purpose: To assess the prevalence of erectile dysfunction and to quantify associations between putative risk factors and erectile dysfunction in the US adult male population.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of data from 2126 adult male participants in the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Erectile dysfunction assessed by a single question during a self-paced, computer-assisted self-interview. These data are nationally representative of the noninstitutionalized adult male population in the US.
Results: The overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men aged >/=20 years was 18.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.2-20.7), suggesting that erectile dysfunction affects 18 million men (95% CI, 16-20) in the US. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction was highly positively related to age but was also particularly high among men with one or more cardiovascular risk factors, men with hypertension, and men with a history of cardiovascular disease, even after age adjustment. Among men with diabetes, the crude prevalence of erectile dysfunction was 51.3% (95% CI, 41.9-60.7). In multivariable analyses, erectile dysfunction was significantly and independently associated with diabetes, lower attained education, and lack of physical activity.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of erectile dysfunction among men with diabetes and hypertension suggests that screening for erectile dysfunction in these patients may be warranted. Physical activity and other measures for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes may prevent decrease in erectile function.