ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P615

Association between psychiatric symptoms and erectile dysfunction

Giovanni Corona1, Valdo Ricca2, Elisa Bandini2, Edoardo Mannucci3, Luisa Petrone1, Alessandra Fisher1, Francesco Lotti1, Giancarlo Balercia4, Carlo Faravelli2, Gianni Forti1 & Mario Maggi1

1Andrology Unit, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2Psychiatric Unit, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 3Diabetes Section Geriatric Unit, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4Endocrinology Unit, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Objectives: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often associated with a wide array of psychiatric symptoms, although few studies systematically address their specific association with ED determinants. Aim of this study is to explore the relationship between ED and different psychopathological symptoms.

Design and methods: A consecutive series of 1388 (mean age 51±13 years) male patients with ED was studied. Several hormonal and biochemical parameters were investigated, along with SIEDY (13 item Structured Interview, which identifies and quantifies the contribution of organic, relational and intrapsychic domains of ED) and the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (a self-reported test for the screening of mental disorders in a non-psychiatric setting).

Results: Psychiatric symptoms resulted differentially associated with SIEDY domains. Depressive and phobic-anxiety symptoms were associated with the relational domain, somatization with the organic one, while free-floating anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic symptoms were significantly related with higher intra-psychic SIEDY scores. In addition, relevant depressive symptomatology (D) was associated with hypogonadism, the presence of low frequency of intercourse, hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), and conflictual relationships within the couple and the family. Patients with high free-floating anxiety symptoms were younger, and complained of an unsatisfactory work and a conflictual relationships within family. Conversely, subjects with higher phobic anxious symptoms displayed a more robust relational functioning. Similar results were observed in subjects with obsessive-compulsive symptoms, who also reported a lower prevalence of HSD. Finally, subjects with somatization symptoms showed the worst erectile function.

Conclusions: The main value of this study is that it alters various clinicians that many psychiatric symptoms can be found among ED patients. Systematic testing of patients with ED, through psychiatric questionnaires, is recommended to detect even slight or moderate psychopathological distresses, which specifically associate and exacerbate sexual disturbances.