The Implications of Increasing Age on Erectile Dysfunction

Kamal C. Wagle, Maurita H. Carrejo, Robert S. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Erectile dysfunction (ED) has long been correlated with psychological well-being. More recently, an understanding has developed of ED being, in some cases, a vascular condition of the penile artery. Given the narrowness of the penile artery, a small amount of atherosclerosis may result in ED before any other manifestations are evident, making ED a useful marker for other vascular conditions with potentially greater clinical implications. In light of this, possible underreporting of ED takes on added significance. A questionnaire regarding ED prevalence and management was distributed for self-administration to men in the waiting room of primary care clinics; the data were analyzed with a focus on the relationship between ED and age. The study had a remarkable response rate of >95%. The prevalence of ED in the ≥70-year age-group was 77%, compared with 61% in the 40- to 69-year age-group (p =.0001). ED correlated linearly with age (R 2 =.80, p <.0001). Among those who had ED, more than half had not discussed it with any provider; the likelihood of discussing ED did increase with the reported severity of symptoms (p <.0001). Older men had more severe ED than younger men (p <.0001). Furthermore, 72% of men with a history of ED were never treated. Younger men were more likely to be treated than older men (p =.004). Given the potential implications of underreporting ED, and the willingness of the men in this study to complete the questionnaire, further work may be merited on new models for ED assessment and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • age
  • and primary care
  • erectile dysfunction
  • older men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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