Relationship of Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction in Men Without Previously Diagnosed Hypertension

J Sex Med. 2017 Nov;14(11):1336-1341. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.09.007. Epub 2017 Oct 6.


Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual disorder that affects all age groups and has a close association with essential hypertension.

Aim: To characterize the relation of blood pressure and ED in detail.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study of 45- to 70-year-old men without previously diagnosed hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, renal disease, or diabetes was conducted from 2005 to 2007 in southwestern Finland. A total of 665 men with at least one cardiovascular risk factor were studied. ED was defined by the five-item International Index of Erectile Function.

Outcomes: We found a U-shaped association between diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and prevalence of ED.

Results: The average age of the study subjects was 56 ± 6 years and 52% had ED. After adjustment for age, cohabitation status, education, fasting plasma glucose level, waist circumference, and prevalence of depressive symptoms, the curve relating DBP to the prevalence of ED was U-shaped with a nadir of DBP 90 mm Hg.

Clinical implications: Our findings emphasize the importance of blood pressure measurement in the physical examination of men with ED.

Strengths and limitations: This was a cross-sectional study, which prevents the evaluation of causality between ED and hypertension. However, this community-based study population is well defined and the anthropologic measurements were made by trained medical staff.

Conclusion: We found a U-shaped correlation between ED and DBP, which confirms the link between ED and hypertension. Heikkilä A, Kaipia A, Venermo M, et al. Relationship of Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction in Men Without Previously Diagnosed Hypertension. J Sex Med 2017;14:1336-1341.

Keywords: Diastolic Blood Pressure; Erectile Dysfunction; Hypertension; Pulse Pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Finland
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors