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Abstract

Men with liver disease are hypogonadal and feminised. European workers consider the liver disease itself to be the major factor but American workers blame alcohol consumption. We studied sexual dysfunction and sex hormones in three matched groups of men; controls (n = 22), those with alcoholic liver disease (n = 21), and those with non-alcoholic liver disease (n = 21). Men with alcoholic liver disease had more sexual dysfunction. Testosterone and androstenedione concentrations were lower and oestradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate levels were raised in the liver disease groups. The changes were greatest in the alcoholic liver disease group. In this, the first controlled study, liver disease per se appears to cause sexual dysfunction and sex hormone changes but these changes are amplified by ethanol.