Erectile dysfunction and sex hormone changes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients

Multidiscip Respir Med. 2013 Oct 9;8(1):66. doi: 10.1186/2049-6958-8-66.


Background: The prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with COPD is high and its significance has not been sufficiently stressed. The aim of this study is to investigate the incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED) and the factors affecting its frequency in COPD patients.

Methods: Seventy patients with COPD and 68 healthy volunteers were included in the study. The International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire was used to evaluate ED, and the Beck Depression Inventory was used to evaluate depression.

Results: The smoking rate was higher and oxygen saturation (SaO2) and body mass index (BMI) were lower in the COPD group. Blood tests revealed higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and estradiol. Testosterone level was lower but it was not statistically significant. Various degrees of ED were detected in 78.6% of COPD patients and 55.8% of the controls. Depression was more common in the COPD group. There was a negative correlation between forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) level and ED and between SaO2 and ED in the COPD group. A positive correlation was noted between age and ED in both groups. No significant correlation was found among hormonal status and FEV1, ED, depression, SaO2, or BMI.

Conclusions: The present study provides further confirmation that COPD is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. When establishing a treatment plan for improving the pulmonary function of COPD patients, sexual dysfunction and depression, which are usually neglected but diminish quality of life, should also be addressed.