Prevalence of erectile dysfunction: need for treatment?
SourceInternational Journal of Impotence Research, 14 Suppl 1, (2002), pp. S22-8
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Impotence Research
vol. 14 Suppl 1
SubjectApplication of BioMedical Engineering in Urology; Toepassingen van biomedische technieken in de urologie
Research examining the occurrence of sexual problems in nonclinical populations tends to be restricted to highly select populations. Recently, several population-based surveys surfaced in the international literature, triggered by the advent of effective pharmacological treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a common disorder, especially among elderly men. The annual incidence in men 40-69 y of age is 26 per 1000 men. Although most of the difficulties are mild and do not totally prevent intercourse, about 26% of men experience moderate to complete ED. The impact of this category of ED on sexual activity among men is marked. The incidence of ED increases with age and the presence of concomitant conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, depression, pelvic surgery, negative mood, lack of self-esteem, problems with relationships, or just inadequate sexual experience. Vascular disease is thought to be the most common cause of organic ED, and it may be an early symptom of cardiac morbidity and mortality. Although one may expect that any man with ED who is motivated to continue sexual activity may seek current highly effective symptomatic medical treatment, only a few men are actually seeking help, and not every man seeking help appears to be a candidate for (symptomatic) medical treatment. The frequent association of sexual and medical problems, especially in the aged, and the high dropout rates for symptomatic ED treatment make counseling, adjustment of lifestyle, and modification of risk factors, such as medication, overweight, smoking, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise, the primary steps in a holistic approach toward the treatment of ED. It is especially important to educate these men to remain physically and sexually as active as possible for as long as possible. The phrase 'use it or lose it' is particularly appropriate for the genitalia.
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