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Erectile dysfunction study shows high prevalence of peripheral neuropathy
Date:11/15/2011

Spanish researchers have uncovered clear links between erectile dysfunction (ED) and peripheral neuropathy, according to a paper in the December issue of the urology journal BJUI.

"Up to now the impact of damaged nerves in the peripheral nervous system on ED has been underestimated" says lead author Dr Consuelo Valles-Antua, from the Department of Neurophysiology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias in Oviedo.

"However our study of 90 patients shows that men with more severe symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, which can be caused by disease, trauma or illness, had greater self-reported ED and required more aggressive treatment.

"Our findings underline the importance of clinicians carrying out neurophysiological tests on patients with ED, particularly in the pelvic area."

The research team, which included experts on both neurophysiology and urology, studied 90 consecutive patients with sexual problems recruited from the hospital's Department of Andrology.

ED was diagnosed using the five-item version of the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF-5) and the occurrence of peripheral neuropathy was predicted using the Neuropathy Symptom Score.

A range of neurophysiology tests were carried out to assess the presence of large and small fibre peripheral neuropathy.

The researchers found that:

  • The average age of the men in the study was 54 years of age. Ten per cent were under 40 and only two per cent were over 70.

  • No significant correlation between IIEF-5 scores and increasing age was found. In fact, younger patients had lower (worse) IIEF-5 scores, which could be due to higher expectations or a higher number of organic risk factors.

  • Just under a third of the patients (30 per cent) had cardiovascular disease, 16 per cent had neurogenic risk factors (relating to the nerves or nervous system) 16 per cent had diabetes and 11 per cen
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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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