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Sexual dysfunction as a determinant of cardiovascular outcome in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis

Abstract

Sexual dysfunction (SD) is common in men and women with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is considered as an early marker for cardiovascular (CV) disease. We hypothesized that patients with SD have higher risk for vascular damage of the large arteries, accelerated vascular aging, and consequently higher CV mortality than other end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. In this study, the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire were applied in men and women, respectively. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), arterial stiffness, and ankle-brachial index (ABI) were performed in all patients. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was significantly slower in non-SD patients (10.5 vs. 8.8 m/s; p < 0.001) with significantly lower number of non-SD patients with PWV > 10 m/s compared to SD patients (p < 0.001). Only 57% of the patients with prior CV event had PWV > 10 m/s. No difference in AIx was observed. Non-SD patients had better values of ABI (0.83 vs. 1.09; p < 0.05) with significantly lower number of non-SD patients with ABI < 0.9 compared to SD patients (p = 0.001) as well as smaller percentage of LVH (57.5% vs. 80.7%; p = 0.01). There were no differences in hemodynamic parameters when patients with SD were divided by sex. Pulse wave velocity was the strongest predictor of lower IIEF and FSFI scores. Mean survival time was longer in non-SD patients than in SD patients (11.6 vs. 10.5 months, p = 0.019). The higher incidence of prior CV events and CV mortality found in SD patients on hemodialysis (HD) is a consequence of accelerated vascular aging. Sexual dysfunction in HD patients should also be considered a marker of subclinical organ damage and future CV events. Our study confirms the predictive role of PWV in HD patients.

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Correspondence to Vedran Premužić.

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Premužić, V., Jelaković, B. Sexual dysfunction as a determinant of cardiovascular outcome in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Int J Impot Res 30, 14–20 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-017-0001-7

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