Sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases: a systematic review of prevalence

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2013 Nov;68(11):1462-8. doi: 10.6061/clinics/2013(11)13.


The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature regarding the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with cardiovascular diseases. An article search of the ISI Web of Science and PubMed databases using the search terms "sexual dysfunction", "cardiovascular diseases", "coronary artery disease", "myocardial infarct" and "prevalence" was performed. In total, 893 references were found. Non-English-language and repeated references were excluded. After an abstract analysis, 91 references were included for full-text reading, and 24 articles that evaluated sexual function using validated instruments were selected for this review. This research was conducted in October 2012, and no time restrictions were placed on any of the database searches. Reviews and theoretical articles were excluded; only clinical trials and epidemiological studies were selected for this review. The studies were mostly cross-sectional, observational and case-control in nature; other studies used prospective cohort or randomized clinical designs. In women, all domains of sexual function (desire, arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasm, sexual dissatisfaction and pain) were affected. The domains prevalent in men included erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and orgasm. Sexual dysfunction was related to the severity of cardiovascular disease. When they resumed sexual activity, patients with heart disease reported significant difficulty, including a lack of interest in sex, sexual dissatisfaction and a decrease in the frequency of sexual activity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology