Erectile Dysfunction and Mortality in a National Prospective Cohort Study

J Sex Med. 2015 Nov;12(11):2130-3. doi: 10.1111/jsm.13032. Epub 2015 Nov 12.


Introduction: Emerging work has shown erectile dysfunction (ED) to be an important indicator of cardiovascular risk via its shared pathophysiology. Yet limited research has examined if a direct relationship between ED and mortality risk exists.

Aim: The purpose of this brief report was to better define the relationship between ED and mortality risk.

Methods: Prevalent ED was assessed with the question: "How would you describe your ability to get and keep an erection adequate for satisfactory intercourse?" Participant data from the population-based 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was linked to death certificates from the National Death Index for mortality assessment.

Main outcome measures: Increased risk of premature all-cause mortality among those with ED (vs. those without).

Results: Of 1,790 adult men providing complete data (age range: 20-85 years; mean = 45.4 year), with 557 having ED, over a 93-month follow-up, 244 deceased over this time. After adjustments, those with ED (vs. those without) had a 70% increased risk of premature all-cause mortality (hazards ratio = 1.70; 95% confidence interval; 1.01-2.85; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: ED is associated with increased premature mortality risk. The present findings have major public health and clinical implications in that ED is a strong indicator of premature mortality. Therefore, patients with ED should be screened and possibly treated for complications that may increase the risk of premature death.

Keywords: Cardiovascular Disease; Erectile Dysfunction; Men; Mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Coitus
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / mortality*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors