Erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and low sexual frequency increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in men with low testosterone

Aging Male. 2016 Jun;19(2):96-101. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2015.1129400. Epub 2016 Jan 11.


Introduction: Testosterone deficiency increases the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

Aim: To evaluate the effect of erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual frequency and hypogonadal symptoms on CVD risk.

Methods: A total of 395 hypogonadal men aged 45-74 years were surveyed using the Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male and the International Index of Erectile Function.

Main outcome measures: The 10-year CVD risk was measured with the Framingham Risk Score. Logistic regression was performed to obtain the odds ratios of sexual function and hypogonadal symptoms for a 10-year CVD risk ≥20% (high risk).

Results: The mean age was 56.1 ± 6.7 years. The mean 10-year CVD risk of the whole cohort was 18.1% ± 11.4%, while 131 subjects (33.2%) were classified as high risk. Logistic regression revealed that ED severity was associated with CVD risk [OR = 2.37 (CI 1.24-4.51) for mild-to-moderate ED, OR = 4.39 (1.78-8.43) for moderate ED and OR = 12.81 (4.65-26.11) for severe ED]. Compared to sexual frequency <1 per month, sexual frequency ≥4 decreased the risk of high CVD risk [OR = 0.35 (0.23-0.780)]. Loss of libido [OR = 2.95 (1.91-4.12)] and less strong erection [OR = 3.87 (CI 2.11-4.95)] increased the risk of high CVD risk. All remained significant after adjustment for age and testosterone.

Conclusions: ED, decreased sexual frequency and loss of libido predict a high 10-year CVD risk in hypogonadal men.

Keywords: Framingham Risk Score; Testosterone; cardiovascular disease; erectile dysfunction; hypogonadism; libido.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / complications*
  • Eunuchism / complications
  • Humans
  • Libido / physiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Testosterone / deficiency*


  • Testosterone