Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in Korean men with Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Nam H. Cho MD PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, no. 5 Wonchon-Dong, Youngtong-Gu, Suwon, Korea.


Aims  We investigated the prevalence and risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction (ED) in 1312 Korean men with diabetes in a multicentre study.

Methods  We used the modified International Index for Erectile Function-5 criteria to identify mild, moderate and complete ED. A standardized face-to-face questionnaire was used by trained interviewers, and validated against telephone interviews. We recorded the duration of diabetes, level of glycaemic control, vital signs, complications, exercise and alcohol and smoking habits, and diabetes treatments used.

Results  The mean age and median duration of diabetes were 53.8 ± 6.65 and 6 years (range 1–43), respectively. The mean HbA1c and fasting glucose levels were 7.9 ± 1.65% and 8.6 ± 2.82 mmol/l, respectively. The overall prevalences of mild, moderate, complete ED and all ED (mild-to-complete) were 20.1, 19.5, 25.8 and 65.4%, respectively. ED was more common with age, reaching 79.3% in men aged > 60 years. Subjects aged > 60 years and with a duration of diabetes > 10 years were at greatest risk for all ED (OR = 10.4, 95% CI 5.8–18.5, P < 0.001) and complete ED (OR = 13.2, 95% CI 7.3–23.9, P < 0.001) when compared with the reference group (age 40–50 years with duration < 6 years). Age, duration of diabetes, HbA1c, insulin use, neuropathy and macrovascular complications were positively associated with ED, but alcohol consumption and exercise habits were negatively associated.

Conclusions  The prevalence of complete ED was approximately six times higher than in the general population.