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Psychological determinants of erectile dysfunction among middle-aged men

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Abstract

We describe psychological determinants of erectile dysfunction (ED) among middle-aged men with no identifiable medical risk factors and compare them with a sample of young individuals. Two groups of young (30 years, n=59) and middle-aged men (40 years, n=63) who scored 25 on the erectile functioning domain of the International Index of Erectile Functioning were enrolled. Patients were included if they had no metabolic diseases, prostate problems or external genitalia abnormalities. Patients were not included if they were smokers, excessive drinkers or took medications known to cause ED. To assess psychopathology, symptom check list 90-revised (SCL-90-R) was administered. Structural equation modeling was performed to assess the relationship between psychopathology and ED. One in five men had severe ED, and the proportion was not different between the two groups. Middle-aged men had lower scores on different SCL-90-R domains. In both age groups, somatization and interpersonal sensitivity contributed to ED. Among younger individuals, anxiety and psychosis-related domains were also associated with ED. Unique contributors to ED in middle-aged men were depression and additional questions. In conclusion, among middle-aged men, psychological factors significantly contribute to ED when no medical risk factors are present. The pattern and composition of distress depicts distinct features, not seen in young age.

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Correspondence to A Aghighi.

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Aghighi, A., Grigoryan, V. & Delavar, A. Psychological determinants of erectile dysfunction among middle-aged men. Int J Impot Res 27, 63–68 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijir.2014.34

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