Men with erectile dysfunction, or ED, are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada suggests. The researchers reported men with ED have twice the risk of developing diabetes than men with no sexual problem.
Dr. Sean Skeldon, the lead researcher, found the correlation was more pronounced in men 40 to 59 years. During the study -- which was published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine -- the research team collected data for 4,500 men who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The data for the survey spanned 2001 through 2004. All of the male subjects were at least 20. The researchers analyzed the health data to identify any potential link between ED with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
No link between ED and the presence of high blood pressure or cholesterol was observed. However, the study team noticed the probability of developing type 2 diabetes increased from 1 in 50 in males without ED to 1 in 10 in men with ED.
The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 11.5 percent in males with ED and 3 percent in men with no sexual dysfunction. However, in men 40 to 59, the rate of undiagnosed diabetes was 19 percent in men with ED and 3 percent in males with no erectile issues.
"Men with erectile dysfunction should see their doctors to ensure they are properly screened for diabetes," Skeldon said in a statement.
"Doing so may help prevent heart disease down the road. Conversely, doctors should ensure that they perform the proper screening for men with erectile dysfunction."