Unrecognized Prediabetes Is Highly Prevalent in Men With Erectile Dysfunction-Results From a Cross-Sectional Study

J Sex Med. 2018 Aug;15(8):1117-1124. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.06.009.


Introduction: The association between prediabetes (PreDM) and erectile dysfunction (ED) has been analyzed scantly.

Aim: To assess the association between PreDM and erectile function (EF) in a cohort of white European men with ED.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data from 372 consecutive men were analyzed. Health-significant comorbidities were scored with the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Patients were invited to complete the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-EF domain questionnaire. The EF domain was categorized according to Cappelleri's criteria. Men were defined as having PreDM according to the criteria defined by the American Diabetes Association (2015). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models tested the association between clinical variables and PreDM status and severe ED.

Main outcome measures: We assessed the prevalence of PreDM in our cohort of men with ED and the potential association of PreDM and sexual health within the same cohort.

Results: Of 372 men, +PreDM was found in 86 (23.1%) patients. Men with +PreDM had lower total testosterone (tT), higher triglycerides, and higher total cholesterol values (all P < .03) than those without PreDM. Likewise, +PreDM patients had a higher rate of CCI ≥1 (P = .03) and more frequently had severe ED (P = .013) compared with -PreDM. Age (OR 1.03; P = .01); lower tT (OR 0.81; P = .02); and severe ED (OR 3.37; P = .004) were associated with +PreDM status, after accounting for BMI, CCI, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking. Similarly, age (OR 1.02; P = .02) and +PreDM (OR 2.02; P = .02) were associated with severe ED, after accounting for other clinical variables.

Clinical implications: Identifying +PreDM status in ED men is clinically relevant in order to adopt preventive strategies to attempt and reduce risk of developing DM and subsequent cardiovascular diseases.

Strengths & limitations: To our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the prevalence of unrecognized PreDM and the association of PreDM and ED severity in a real-life setting. Limitations are the retrospective nature of the cross-sectional study and the lack of haemodynamic parameters for every patient.

Conclusions: 1 in 5 men seeking medical help for new-onset ED showed glucose values suggestive for unrecognized PreDM and +PreDM status was associated with worse hormonal and metabolic profiles, along with a higher risk of severe ED than -PreDM. Boeri L, Capogrosso P, Perderzoli F, et al. Unrecognized prediabetes is highly prevalent in men with erectile dysfunction-results from a cross-sectional study. J Sex Med 2018;15:1117-1124.

Keywords: Diabetes; Erectile Dysfunction; Prediabetes; Prevention; Risk Factors; Testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Testosterone / blood
  • White People
  • Young Adult


  • Lipids
  • Testosterone