Objective To determine the prevalence of previously undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) in men presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED), using fasting blood glucose (FBG) compared with urinary dipstick testing for glycosuria.
Patients and methods A prospective prevalence study was carried out in an andrology outpatient clinic of a urology department in a district general hospital serving a mixed urban and rural population. In all, 129 consecutive men presenting with ED underwent FBG and urinary dipstick testing to detect undiagnosed DM in those presenting with ED.
Results The prevalence of known DM was 17% and the that of undiagnosed DM 4.7% of the 107 remaining men; an abnormal fasting glucose level was found in a further 12%. The sensitivity of urine dipstick test for diagnosing DM was 20%.
Conclusions The prevalence of undiagnosed DM is higher in men with ED than in the general population. ED is a marker symptom for DM and DM should be actively sought in men presenting with ED. Urinary dipstick testing for glycosuria, if used as a screening test, will miss the diagnosis in 80% of these men. FBG testing should be undertaken to reliably diagnose DM in men presenting with ED.