Determinants of erectile dysfunction in type 2 diabetes

Int J Impot Res. 2010 May-Jun;22(3):204-9. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2010.1. Epub 2010 Feb 11.


This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of ED in a population of diabetic men. Consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited among outpatients regularly attending Diabetes Clinics. Inclusion criteria for the initial selection of patients were a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes for at least 6 months but less than 10 years, age 35-70 years, body mass index (BMI) of 24 or higher, HbA1c of 6.5% or higher: a total of 555 (90.8%) of the 611 men were analyzed in this study. ED was assessed by the IIEF-5 instrument. Approximately, 6 in 10 men in our sample of diabetic men had varying degrees of erectile dysfunction: mild 9%, mild to moderate 11.2%, moderate 16.9% and severe 22.9%. The prevalence of severe ED increased with age. Higher hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were associated with ED; similarly, the presence of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, atherogenic dyslipidemia (low levels of HDL-cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides) and depression was associated with ED. Physical activity was protective of ED; men with higher levels of physical activity were 10% less likely to have ED as compared with those with the lowest level. In conclusion, among subjects with type 2 diabetes glycemic control and other metabolic covariates were associated with ED risk, whereas higher level of physical activity was protective. These results encourage the implementation of current medical guidelines that place intensive lifestyle changes as the first step of the management of type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Depression / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / complications
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Exercise
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A