Diabetes closely related to male erectile dysfunction

Cai Wenjun
Diabetes is closely related to male erectile dysfunction. However, the issue hasn't raised enough awareness among the public and even medical professionals, according to experts.
Cai Wenjun

The first guideline on promoting public education on prevalence of erectile dysfunction among male diabetics and on regulating clinical practice and improving medical capability has been released in the city, said the Shanghai Health Commission on Tuesday.

It's an achievement made by some 70 domestic medical experts over the past three years.

Diabetes is closely related to male erectile dysfunction. However, the issue hasn't raised enough awareness among the public and even medical professionals, according to experts.

The prevalence of sexual dysfunction among male diabetics is very high, and some men are detected with diabetes only upon visiting a hospital's andrology department. However, the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction in male diabetics in China is low due to poor awareness and patients' reluctance to visiting a doctor.

Lifestyle changes, an increase of people who are overweight or obese, the rising of the aging population and the process of urbanization have caused a sharp rise of diabetics in the nation.

China's diabetics aged between 20 and 79 account for one-fourth of the world's total. The prevalence of diabetes is higher for males than females.

Male erectile dysfunction is a common complication of diabetes. Doctors at andrology departments say it is common that patients with erectile dysfunction are detected with very high glucose levels during checks and are diagnosed with diabetes.

The overall incidence of erectile dysfunction among male diabetics is 52.5 percent, while it is 75 percent for males with type II diabetes.

Doctors said diabetes' influence on sexual health is related with the seriousness and duration of diabetes, and the mechanism is complicated. Diabetes can lead to injury to neural pathways, blood vessel function and pathological and physical changes of multiple systems and organs, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

"Most diabetics with erectile dysfunction are reluctant to see a doctor. There are very few diabetics who talk about their problems regarding sexual health during outpatient service," said Dr Lu Bin from Huashan Hospital.

"We encourage patients to tell their doctors if their sexual function begins to decrease, as the treatment results are better if treated early. The reduction of sexual function can be an early sign of overall complications. It can help doctors give proper diagnoses sooner and offer early prevention and intervention to prevent the worsening of diabetes and other complications."

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