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J Urol. 2006 Sep;176(3):1081-5; discussion 1085.

Erectile dysfunction--an observable marker of diabetes mellitus? A large national epidemiological study.

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United States Medical Division, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center Drop Code 5024, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.



We examined whether men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to have diabetes mellitus than men without erectile dysfunction, and whether erectile dysfunction can be used as an observable early marker of diabetes mellitus.


Using a nationally representative managed care claims database from 51 health plans and 28 million members in the United States, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare the prevalence rates of diabetes mellitus between men with erectile dysfunction (285,436) and men without erectile dysfunction (1,584,230) during 1995 to 2001. Logistic regression models were used to isolate the effect of erectile dysfunction on the likelihood of having diabetes mellitus with adjustment for age, region and 7 concurrent diseases.


The diabetes mellitus prevalence rates were 20.0% in men with erectile dysfunction and 7.5% in men without erectile dysfunction. With adjustment for age, region and concurrent diseases, the odds ratio of having diabetes mellitus between men with erectile dysfunction and without erectile dysfunction was 1.60 (p <0.0001). With adjustment for regions and concurrent diseases, the age specific odds ratios ranged from 2.94 (p <0.0001, age 26 to 35) to 1.05 (p = 0.1717, age 76 to 85).


Men with erectile dysfunction were more than twice as likely to have diabetes mellitus as men without erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is an observable marker of diabetes mellitus, strongly so for men 45 years old or younger and likely for men 46 to 65 years old, but it is not a marker for men older than 66 years.

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