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Erectile dysfunction and its correlates among the Ariaal of northern Kenya


To expand our crosscultural understanding of erectile dysfunction, we investigated erectile dysfunction among Ariaal men, pastoral nomads of northern Kenya. To measure erectile dysfunction, we administered the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) to 198 men aged 20 y and older during interviews. Marital status and anthropometric measures of body composition were also obtained. Men were classified into 10-y age groups. ANOVA revealed that erectile dysfunction increases with age (P<0.0005), with men 60 y and older showing significantly higher erectile dysfunction compared with men in their 20s, 40s and 50s. In a MANCOVA model, erectile dysfunction increased with age group (P<0.001), was negatively related to right-hand grip strength (P<0.01) and negatively related to number of wives (P<0.05). In addition, there was a significant interaction between age group and marital status (P<0.01). Erectile dysfunction showed no independent relationship to measures of body composition, including body mass index, fat free mass and percentage body fat. These findings provide further evidence of age-related increases in erectile dysfunction, even when factors commonly associated with erectile dysfunction (eg, metabolic complications of obesity, use of medicines causing erectile dysfunction) are absent. The finding that number of wives is negatively related to erectile dysfunction may represent the specific cultural conditions (political power and wealth) associated with polygyny among the Ariaal.

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Correspondence to B Campbell.

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Gray, P., Campbell, B. Erectile dysfunction and its correlates among the Ariaal of northern Kenya. Int J Impot Res 17, 445–449 (2005).

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  • IIEF-5
  • sexual function
  • crosscultural
  • aging
  • marriage


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