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Rehabil Res Pract. 2010;2010:823060. doi: 10.1155/2010/823060. Epub 2010 Jul 7.

Sexual Dysfunction before and after Cardiac Rehabilitation.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.



The aim of this study was to assess sexual function before and after cardiac rehabilitation in relation to medical variables.


Analysis of patients participating in a 12-week exercise-based outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program (OCR) between April 1999 and December 2007. Exercise capacity (ExC) and quality of life including sexual function were assessed before and after OCR.


Complete data were available in 896 male patients. No sexual activity at all was indicated by 23.1% at baseline and 21.8% after OCR, no problems with sexual activity by 40.8% at baseline and 38.6% after OCR. Patients showed an increase in specific problems (erectile dysfunction and lack of orgasm) from 18% to 23% (P < .0001) during OCR. We found the following independent positive and negative predictors of sexual problems after OCR: hyperlipidemia, age, CABG, baseline ExC and improvement of ExC, subjective physical and mental capacity, and sense of affiliation.


Sexual dysfunction is present in over half of the patients undergoing OCR with no overall improvement during OCR. Age, CABG, low exercise capacity are independent predictors of sexual dysfunction after OCR.

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