The last few decades have seen a marked increase in mean life expectancy in Central Europe. This has made elderly people and their quality of life a matter of ever-increasing medical concern. Available data from the United States and Scandinavia relating to erectile dysfunction (ED) do not enable us to draw valid conclusions about the current situation in Germany. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the epidemiology of male sexuality in Germany, and the proportion of men who need medical treatment because of increased suffering from this.
A newly developed and validated questionnaire on male erectile dysfunction was mailed to a representative population sample of 8000 men, 30–80 y of age in the Cologne urban district.
The response included 4489 evaluable replies (56.1%). The response rates in different age groups ranged from 49.2% to 68.4%. Regular sexual activity was reported by 96.0% (youngest age group) to 71.3% (oldest group). There were 31.5%–44% of responders who were dissatisfied with their current sex life. The prevalence of ED was 19.2%, with a steep age-related increase (2.3–53.4%) and a high co-morbidity of ED with hypertension, diabetes, pelvic surgery and ‘lower urinary tract symptoms’. When treatment need was defined by co-occurence of ED and dissatisfaction with sex life, 6.9% men required treatment for ED. Oral treatment of ED was preferred by 73.8% of respondents. There were 46.2% respondents who were willing to contribute more than DM 50 (25 Euro) per month for ED treatment.
We conclude that regular sexual activity is a normal finding in advanced age. ED is a frequent disorder, contributing to dissatisfaction with sex life in a considerable proportion of men. The high burden of ED is reflected in willingness to pay for treatment. ED is frequently associated with chronic diseases. Therefore adequate diagnostic workup is essential, to offer patients individually adapted treatment. General non-reimbursability of treatment for ED appears to be unacceptable.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Die Urologie Open Access 20 June 2022
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $14.88 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
About this article
Cite this article
Braun, M., Wassmer, G., Klotz, T. et al. Epidemiology of erectile dysfunction: results of the ‘Cologne Male Survey’. Int J Impot Res 12, 305–311 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3900622
- erectile dysfunction
This article is cited by
International Journal of Impotence Research (2022)
Die Urologie (2022)