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J Sex Med. 2008 Oct;5(10):2330-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00788.x. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Sexual function and psychological status among males and females with ischemic heart disease.

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Baqyiatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) may also suffer from mental and sexual problems, and we should consider the mutual influence such conditions have on each other. However, the interrelation between sexual and mental problems in the context of CAD has not been fully investigated, especially when it comes to gender.


Our aim was to evaluate sexuality and psychiatric symptoms among patients with CAD and the relation between them in each gender.


In this cross-sectional study, 550 (397 men and 153 women) patients with documented CAD were surveyed for anxiety and depression using the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) self-administered questionnaire as well as the relation and sexuality scale (RSS). Three subscores were calculated for sexual function, frequency, and fear, with higher scores indicative of a poorer condition.


The HADS and the RSS.


Depressive symptoms and anxiety were more severe among our female subjects than they were among the male ones. In addition, the scores for sexual frequency, sexual function, and the total RSS were significantly higher in women, while men had a significantly higher score for sexual fear. The total RSS score correlated with depressive symptoms in women (r = 0.19, P = 0.03), but not in the male subjects. Considering the subscores, a higher score for sexual frequency correlated with depressive symptoms in both genders; however, being afraid of sexual relation correlated with depressive symptoms only in men with CAD and their spouses (r = 0.18, P = 0.001).


We found that women with CAD have poorer sexual relation and more severe depressive symptoms than men do. Among men with CAD and their wives, fear of sexual relationship is a more serious problem. Such gender-specific characteristics and their interrelations ought to receive due consideration in the management of CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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