Association Between Epilepsy and Erectile Dysfunction: Evidence from a Population-Based Study


Herng-Ching Lin, PhD, School of Health Care Administration, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing St., Taipei 110, Taiwan. Tel: 886-2-2736-1661 ext. 3613; Fax: 886-2-2378-9788; E-mail:


Introduction.  Although the association between epilepsy and sexual disorders has long been known, very few studies have attempted to explore the association between epilepsy and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Aim.  This population-based case-control study aimed to investigate the association between ED and a prior diagnosis with epilepsy.

Methods.  This study used data from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 in Taiwan. The cases comprised 6,427 patients with a diagnosis of ED and 32,135 controls who were frequency matched with cases based on 10-year age groups and index year. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for prior epilepsy.

Main Outcome Measure.  The prevalence and risk of epilepsy between cases and controls.

Results.  Of the sampled patients, 3,861 (14%) were diagnosed before the index date: 1,358 individuals (19.7%) were cases and 2,503 (12.1%) were controls. After adjusting for hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, renal disease, coronary heart disease, obesity, alcohol abuse/alcohol dependence syndrome, and socioeconomic status, conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that patients with ED were more likely to have been diagnosed with prior epilepsy than controls (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.51–2.21). Compared with controls, the adjusted ORs for prior generalized epilepsy and partial epilepsy for cases were 2.13 (95% CI = 1.52–3.00) and 1.64 (95% CI = 1.31–2.06), respectively. The most pronounced associations were detected in ED cases aged between 30 and 39 who were 3.04 (95% CI = 1.67–5.50) times more likely than controls to have been previously diagnosed with epilepsy.

Conclusions.  Our findings suggest a positive correlation between ED and a prior diagnosis with epilepsy. Keller J, Chen Y-K, and Lin H-C. Association between epilepsy and erectile dysfunction: Evidence from a population-based study. J Sex Med 2012;9:2248–2255.