Changes in frequency of urology clinic visits and diagnosis of erectile dysfunction in Germany before and during COVID-19

Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2023 Dec;71(6):102181. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2023.102181. Epub 2023 Nov 1.


Objectives: To explore and analyze [1] the differences in the total number of patients visiting urology practices in Germany, [2] explore and analyze any differences in the number of newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction (ED) patients as well as [3] the number of new drug prescription, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany (April 2019-March 2020 and April 2020-March 2021).

Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study used data from the Disease Analyzer database (IQVIA) and included all patients aged ≥18 years with at least one visit to one of 85 urology practices across Germany. Outcomes were the mean number of patients with [1] new diagnosis of ED and [2] new prescription of drugs for erectile dysfunction per practice, in pandemic (April 2020-March 2021) versus non-pandemic (April 2019-March 2020) time periods. Differences between the periods were assessed using Wilcoxon tests.

Results: In the non-pandemic period, there were 195,895 men, and in the pandemic period, 192,659 men visiting urology practices in Germany. A total of 10,977 men were initially diagnosed with ED in non-pandemic and 12,213 (+11.26%) men in pandemic time periods. Although the differences of new ED diagnoses were not statistically significant, a non-significant increase of new ED diagnoses was observed across all age groups. Also, a non-significant increase in new ED prescription drugs was detected across all age groups.

Conclusions: Even though less urology practice-visits of men with ED were recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of new ED diagnosis was observed across all age groups between April 2020 and March 2021.

Keywords: COVID-19; Erectile Dysfunction; Germany; Lockdown; Prevalence; Urology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Quarantine
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urology*