18 million men in the United States affected by erectile dysfunction

February 1, 2007

More than 18 million men in the United States over age 20 are affected by erectile dysfunction, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction was strongly linked with age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a lack of physical activity.

The findings also indicate that lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, may also prevent decreased erectile function. The study is published in the February 1, 2007, issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

"Physicians should be aggressive in screening and managing middle-aged and older patients for erectile dysfunction, especially among patients with diabetes or hypertension," said Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and a faculty member in the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology. "The associations of erectile dysfunction with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors may serve as powerful motivators for men who need to make changes in their diet and lifestyle."

For the study, the research team analyzed data from 2,126 men who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Men who reported being "sometimes able" or "never able" to get and keep an erection were categorized as having erectile dysfunction, while men who reported being "always or almost always able" or "usually able" were not.

The overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction among men in the United States was 18 percent. Men aged 70 and older were much more likely to report having erectile dysfunction compared to only 5 percent in men between the ages of 20 and 40. Nearly half of all men in the study with diabetes also had erectile dysfunction. And, almost 90 percent of all men with erectile dysfunction had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, hypertension, having poor cholesterol levels or being a current smoker. Men with erectile dysfunction were also less likely to have engaged in vigorous physical activity within the month prior to participation in the study.

"Prevalence and Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction in the U.S." was written by Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, Arthur L. Burnett, MD, and Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD, MPH. Selvin and Platz are with the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Platz and Burnett are with the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Explore further: Erectile dysfunction drug relieves nerve damage in diabetic mice

Related Stories

Erectile dysfunction drug relieves nerve damage in diabetic mice

March 17, 2015
New animal studies at Henry Ford Hospital found that sildenafil, a drug commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, may be effective in relieving painful and potentially life-threatening nerve damage in men with long-term ...

Many men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction

July 19, 2017
A review of the published literature indicates that erectile dysfunction is common in males with diabetes, affecting more than half of men with the condition and with a prevalence of approximately 3.6-times higher than in ...

Erectile dysfunction is not the only sexual problem for men living with diabetes

May 20, 2014
Lack of erection is the most commonly known disorder as an effect of diabetes on the function of the male reproductive organ; however, is not the only one, and therefore it is important to know other affections to men's sexual ...

CV autonomic neuropathy predicts urological issues

May 21, 2015
(HealthDay)—For men with type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy is associated with erectile dysfunction and/or lower urinary tract symptoms, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal ...

Men with erection problems three times more likely to have inflamed gums

December 4, 2012
Men in their thirties who had inflamed gums caused by severe periodontal disease were three times more likely to suffer from erection problems, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Erectile dysfunction drugs are safe, possibly beneficial after heart attack

March 9, 2017
Men who filled prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs in the years following a heart attack had a substantially lower risk of dying or being hospitalized for heart failure than men who did not use these drugs, according ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.