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Eur Urol. 2004 May;45(5):628-33.

Effects of age, comorbidity and lifestyle factors on erectile function: Tampere Ageing Male Urological Study (TAMUS).

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  • 1Tampere School of Public Health, Fin-33014 University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.



We estimated the effects of sociodemographic, medical and lifestyle factors on erectile function in a population-based sample of 50- to 75-year-old Finnish men.


The target population consisted of all non-institutionalized men aged 50, 60 or 70 years residing in the study area in 1994. The questionnaire was mailed to 3143 men in 1994 and 2198 (70%) responded. A repeat survey was carried out in 1999 with questionnaires mailed to 2864 men in the baseline sample, who were still alive, and 2133 (75%) responded. Erectile function was assessed by two questions on the subject's ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse and function was classified into none, minimal, moderate or complete erectile dysfunction (ED) for analysis with scores 0-3 respectively.


The mean ED score increased markedly with age. It increased from 0.82 for men aged 50 years to 1.85 for those aged 75. After controlling for the effects of sociodemographic, medical and lifestyle factors, the mean ED score increased by 1.1% (95%CI 1.0-1.3) per year of age. Mean ED score increased most slowly between the ages of 50 and 55 years (regression coefficients (r)=0.02 or 0.6% for one year increments, p=0.89) and most rapidly between 60 and 70 years (r=0.06 or 1.8%, p<0.001). In addition to age, diabetes (r=17.5%), heart disease (r=6.5%), hypertension (r=5.1%), cerebrovascular disease (5.8%) and smoking (4.6%) were associated with an increased risk of ED.


Erectile dysfunction increases markedly with age, especially after the age of 60 years. Smokers and men with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease are at increased risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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