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Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Diabetic Retinopathy

Erectile dysfunction prevalence higher in men with severe or proliferative diabetic retinopathy

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Significant erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, independent of age, diabetes duration, macrovascular comorbidities, and cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published in the May issue of Urology.

Oren Henis, from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues investigated the relationship between ED and DR in 102 men with type 2 diabetes with an average age of 64 years and diabetes duration of 14.5 years. The cohort included a study group of 64 men with either proliferative diabetic retinopathy or severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), and a control group of 38 men without retinopathy or with mild NPDR. Participants completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Males questionnaire (SHIM), and a score less than 17 indicated significant ED.

The investigators found that the average SHIM score for all men was 11.4, with 73.5 percent of men having significant ED. Men in the study group had a significantly higher prevalence of significant ED (87.5 versus 50.0 percent), and significantly lower mean SHIM questionnaire scores (9.5 versus 14.7) than men in the control group. Significant ED and SHIM scores were both significantly correlated with DR severity, after adjusting for age, diabetes duration, smoking, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.

"The prevalence of significant ED is higher among diabetic men with severe DR relative to diabetic men with mild DR or without DR. Significant ED is associated with DR in diabetic men independent of age, diabetes mellitus duration, macrovascular comorbidities, and cardiovascular risk factors," the authors write.

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