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.