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J Med. 1987;18(5-6):305-21.

Prevalence and type of sexual dysfunctions in diabetic males: a standardized clinical approach.

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Cattedra di Malattie del Ricambio, Istituto di Clinica Medica II, Pisa, Italy.


The diagnosis of sexual dysfunctions (SD) in diabetic male patients is usually based on interviews about the sexual behavior of the patients themselves. The absence of a standardized procedure may explain the discrepancies in the prevalence reported in previous papers. In this work, we show a rational procedure to assess the presence and the type of SD in a group of 128 diabetic men. By means of an appropriate questionnaire, SD were pointed out in 40% of insulin-dependent diabetics (IDD) and 52% of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients (NIDD). Among the patients with SD, 28% had organic impotence, 11% psychogenic impotence and 8% reduction of libido. IDD with SD were older (p less than 0.01) and with a longer duration of diabetes (p less than 0.02) than IDD without SD. NIDD with and without SD had similar ages and known duration of diabetes. Both in IDD and in NIDD, the prevalence of SD was not affected by the quality of short-term metabolic control. In the patients in whom it was studied by a different technique, the predominant cause of organic impotence (76%) was a damage of parasympathetic nervous system, as evaluated by non-invasive tests. In 12% of the cases with organic impotence, a reduced penile flow alone was observed, while hormonal parameters were similar in patients with and without organic impotence.

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