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ORIGINAL RESEARCH—WOMEN'S SEXUAL HEALTH: Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Sexual Function in Women with Type 2 Diabetes

Authors

  • Francesco Giugliano MD,

    1. Division of Urology, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy;
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  • Maria Ida Maiorino MD,

    1. Division of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
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  • Carmen Di Palo MD,

    1. Division of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
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  • Riccardo Autorino MD,

    1. Division of Urology, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy;
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  • Marco De Sio MD,

    1. Division of Urology, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy;
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  • Dario Giugliano MD, PhD,

    1. Division of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
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  • Katherine Esposito MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
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Katherine Esposito, MD, PhD, Chair and Division of Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Piazza Miraglia, Naples 80138, Italy. Tel/Fax: 39 081 5665054; E-mail: katherine.esposito@unina2.it

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  There are no reported studies assessing the relation between diet and sexual function in women with diabetes.

Aim.  In the present study, we explored the relation between consumption of a Mediterranean-type diet and sexual function in a population of type 2 diabetic women.

Methods.  Patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled if they had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes for at least six months but less than 10 years, age 35–70 years, body mass index (BMI) of 24 or higher, HbA1c of 6.5% or higher, treatment with diet or oral drugs. All diabetic patients were invited to complete a food-frequency questionnaire and self-report measures of sexual function. A total of 595 (90.2%) of the 659 women completed both questionnaires and were analyzed in the present study.

Main Outcome Measures.  Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 9-point scale that incorporated the salient characteristics of this diet (range of scores, 0–9, with higher scores indicating greater adherence). The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was used for assessing the key dimensions of female sexual function.

Results.  Diabetic women with the highest scores (6–9) had lower BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, a lower prevalence of depression, obesity and metabolic syndrome, a higher level of physical activity, and better glucose and lipid profiles than the diabetic women who scored <3 points on the scale. The proportion of sexually active women showed a significant increase across tertiles of adherence to Mediterranean diet (from 54.2% to 65.1%, P = 0.01). Based on the FSFI cutoff score for female sexual dysfunction (FSD) of 23, women with the highest score of adherence had a lower prevalence of sexual dysfunction as compared with women of lower tertiles (47.6%, 53.9%, and 57.8%, higher, middle, and lower tertile, respectively, P = 0.01). These associations remained significant after adjustment for many potential confounders.

Conclusions.  In women with type 2 diabetes, greater adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower prevalence of FSD. Giugliano F, Maiorino MI, Di Palo C, Autorino R, De Sio M, Giugliano D, and Esposito K. Adherence to mediterranean diet and sexual function in women with type 2 diabetes. J Sex Med 2010;7:1883–1890.

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