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East Afr Med J. 1998 Apr;75(4):208-10.

Impotence in Ethiopian diabetic men.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.


Prevalence of impotence was assessed among 292 consecutive diabetic men attending the Tikur Anbessa Hospital, diabetic clinic. The mean age was 41.4 +/- 15.5 years (range 18-86 years). One hundred and forty nine (51.6%) were type I and 143 (49%) were type II patients. The mean duration of diabetes was 9.9 +/- 6.7 years and 37.7% had known long term diabetic complications. The overall prevalence of impotence was 48.7%. The mean duration of impotence was 3.5 +/- 3.4 years. In the majority of the cases, impotence started after diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Many of the patients (79.1%) had never complained to physicians and 59.2% of the patients did not know that impotence is a complication of diabetes mellitus. All except 10 patients (7.5%) had libido. Impotence is significantly higher in type II as compared to type I patients (94/143 versus 40/132, p < 0.001) and in patients with complications than without (76/104 versus 54/159, p < 0.001). The mean duration of diabetes mellitus is significantly higher in patients with impotence than without impotence (12.3 years versus 8.1 years, p < 0.001). We conclude that impotence is a common and significant problem in our diabetic men and we recommend further study to assess its social and psychiatric impact.

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