Albuminuria is an Independent Risk Factor of Erectile Dysfunction in Men with Type 2 Diabetes


Rue-Tsuan Liu, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, No. 123, Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Sung Section, Kaohsiung City 83305, Taiwan. Tel: 886-7-7317123 ext. 8302; Fax: 886-7-7322402; E-mail:


Introduction.  Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent comorbidity in men with diabetes and is frequently overlooked in routine clinical evaluation. Albuminuria, a marker of endothelial dysfunction, may link to ED.

Aim.  The study evaluated the association of albuminuria with risk factors of ED in men with type 2 diabetes.

Methods.  The diagnosis of ED was based on a self-administered questionnaire containing Sexual Health Inventory for Men. Urinary albumin excretion rate was determined by urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) in spot urine.

Main Outcome Measures.  The clinical variables and diabetes-associated complications to risk of ED were evaluated.

Results.  Of 666 patients who received the questionnaire, 455 patients completed it. Among them, 82.0%, 28.1%, and 35.8% reported having ED, severe ED, and albuminuria, respectively. The UACR level was significantly higher in ED (0.20 ± 0.83) and severe ED (0.34 ± 1.18) groups compared with non-ED group (0.07 ± 0.33). The presence of albuminuria adjusted for age and duration of diabetes was significantly associated with ED (OR = 2.76), and macroalbuminuria has stronger impact (OR = 4.49) than microalbuminuria (OR = 2.48). The other associated risk factors included hypertension, higher level of systolic blood pressure, lower level of serum hemoglobin, and estimated glomerular filtration rate. The presence of retinopathy, neuropathy, insulin therapy, using calcium channel blocker, and higher level of HbA1c further correlated with severe ED. Men with severe ED have higher prevalence of subnormal testosterone than the no ED patients. The high sensitivity C-reactive protein level, and the presence of metabolic syndrome were not risk factors. The 211 nonrespondents to the questionnaire had similar or worse risk profiles compared with the ED patients.

Conclusion.  Albuminuria is an important independent risk factor of ED in men with diabetes after adjustment of age and diabetes mellitus duration. Identification and control of albuminuria and other associated risk factors might play a role in the prevention or reversal of ED. Chuang Y-C, Chung M-S, Wang P-W, Lee W-C, Chen C-D, Chang H-W, Yang KD, Chancellor MB, and Liu RT. Albuminuria is an independent risk factor of erectile dysfunction in men with type 2 diabetes. J Sex Med 12;9:1055–1064.