Sexual dysfunction in the diabetic patient with hypertension

Am J Cardiol. 1988 Jun 15;61(16):27H-33H. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(88)91102-2.


The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the United States is increasing partly because of the incidence of these diseases in the growing geriatric population. Diabetes and hypertension have been associated with sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Neuropathy, vascular insufficiency and psychological problems have been implicated in impotence, impaired ejaculation and decreased libido in men and in decreased vaginal lubrication, orgasmic dysfunction and decreased libido in women. Several investigations of women with diabetes suggest fewer reports of sexual dysfunction than have been reported by diabetic men. However, there have been few evaluations of sexual dysfunction in women and no standard methods for assessment. Antihypertensive agents, especially diuretics, sympathetic inhibitors and beta-blocking agents have been associated with sexual dysfunction due to autonomic and hormonal effects. An estimated 40 to 80% of diabetic hypertensives have reported sexual dysfunction in several investigations. Clearly, the diabetic hypertensive patient should be evaluated for sexual dysfunction, and appropriate therapy, including changes in medication or referral for sex counseling, should become routine in clinical care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology