Erectile dysfunction in the cardiology practice-a patients' perspective

Am Heart J. 2014 Feb;167(2):178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.10.021. Epub 2013 Nov 6.


Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events sharing mutual risk factors with coronary artery disease. Several guidelines for the management of ED in cardiovascular disease have been proposed, recommending cardiologists to routinely inquire about erectile function. However, males' specific needs and wishes regarding sexual health care in cardiology are unknown. We sought to identify male patients' view concerning possible improvements in sexual health care and preferred forms of sexual counseling in the cardiology practice.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional multicentered survey study among randomly selected males visiting a cardiologist.

Results: Of 388 respondents, 296 questionnaires were eligible for analysis. Mean age of respondents was 62.9 years. Overall, 56% (n = 165) had ED, with up to 86% in patients with heart failure. Mean bother experienced due to ED was 5.93 (±2.57) on a 0 to 10 scale. Most respondents indicated to feel comfortable discussing sexual health with the cardiologists (88%). Of men with ED (n = 165), 46% would like to have a conversation with the cardiologist about possibilities to improve sexual function, 55% would be helped if questions could be asked during consultation with a specialized nurse, and 58% would appreciate written information. Of all respondents (n = 296), 28% ever tried a phosphodiesterase inhibitor; 4% received the prescription of the cardiologists.

Conclusions: Erectile dysfunction is highly prevalent in patients with a variety of cardiovascular diagnosis and care for sexual function is mandatory. Patients indicated that above consultation with the cardiologist, both consultation with a specialized nurse and written information would be helpful.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction / complications
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Surveys / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult