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Int J Impot Res. 2010 May-Jun;22(3):179-84. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2010.6. Epub 2010 Apr 8.

Determinants of female sexual dysfunction in type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Geriatrics and Metabolic Diseases, Second University of Naples, Piazza Miraglia, Naples, Italy.


Studies assessing sexual dysfunction in type 2 diabetic women are scanty. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of female sexual function in a quite large population of diabetic women. A total of 595 women with type 2 diabetes completed a questionnaire of self-report measures of sexual dysfunction and were analyzed in this study. Their age was 57.9+/-6.9 (mean and s.d.), duration of diabetes was 5.2+/-1.5 years and mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level was 8.3+/-1.3%. Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) was assessed by the Female Sexual Function Index instrument with a cut-off score of 23. The overall prevalence of FSD among the diabetic women was 53.4%, significantly higher in menopausal women (63.9%), as compared with nonmenopausal women (41.0%, P<0.001). There was no association between HbA1c, duration of diabetes, hypertension, or cigarette smoking status and FSD; on the contrary, age, metabolic syndrome and atherogenic dyslipidemia were significantly associated with FSD. Both depression and marital status were independent predictors of FSD, while physical activity was protective. Further studies are needed to elucidate in full the mechanisms underlying the evident differences between male and female sexual function. In the meantime, evaluation of female sexuality should become a routine evaluation in women with type 2 diabetes, such as other diabetic complications.

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