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21 August 2012

Retrospective observational study finds hypogonadism prevalent in men with sexual dysfunction and related to a range of chronic illnesses

Image: Senior person getting blood pressure examination by a cardiologist

Hypogonadism in men with erectile dysfunction may be related to a host of chronic illnesses. Guay A, Seftel AD, Traish A. Int J Impot Res 2010; 22(1):9-19 [Erratum in: Int J Impot Res 2010; 22(3):210].

This retrospective, observational study evaluated the prevalence of hypogonadism among men with sexual dysfunction, and examined its association with medical and psychological factors. The study involved 990 men (90% Caucasian) who attended an endocrinology specialist centre for sexual function as a new consultation between July 1995 and July 1997. To identify medical and psychological conditions, patients underwent a detailed clinical evaluation and their medical history was examined. A diagnosis of hypogonadism was made based on a total testosterone level of <300 ng/dL (<10.4 nmol/L) accompanied by three or more signs/symptoms of hypogonadism. Primary hypogonadism was identified when low testosterone levels were accompanied by normal levels of luteinizing hormone (≥9 IU/L). Associations between conditions (medical and psychological) and hypogonadism were examined using the Mantel−Haenszel-test.

The mean age of the men was 57.4 years and all had sexual dysfunction. Overall, 359 men (36.3%) had hypogonadism, most of whom were diagnosed with secondary hypogonadism (301 men). The men in this study had a high prevalence of chronic medical and/or psychological conditions, including; diabetes mellitus (23.1%), hypertension (35.8%), atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (19.9%), work-related stress (27.5%) and anxiety/depression (21.0%), and 28.2% of men were on multiple medications.

Key Points

  • The prevalence of hypogonadism among men with sexual dysfunction and common medical causes of ED ranged from 30.8−64.3%
  • Hypogonadism was prevalent among men who used alcohol excessively or who smoked
  • The prevalence of hypogonadism was also substantial among men receiving medication for anxiety or depression and in men with work-related stress
  • The highest prevalence of hypogonadism was observed in men in their 50’s and 60’s
  • A significant association between the medical or psychiatric causes of ED and hypogonadism was limited to hypertension, tobacco abuse, sleep apnea and work stress
  • Sleep apnea and work stress in particular were positively associated with hypogonadism.

21 August 2012

Study finds that low testosterone levels are common in men with sexual problems and may be related to chronic illnesses

Image: Senior person getting blood pressure examination by a cardiologist
This large retrospective observational study of 990 men with erectile dysfunction (problems achieving or maintaining an erection) looked at the link between low levels of testosterone (also known as hypogonadism) and various chronic illnesses. The average age of men in this study was 57 years and many had chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, work stress and anxiety/depression. Overall, 36% of these men had low testosterone levels.
Last updated: 2019