Male reproductive health problems may coexist with, or
represent a marker for, other common conditions including heart disease and
diabetes, according to an article published in the Medical Journal of
Dr Carol Holden (PhD), of Andrology Australia, Monash
University, VIC and co-authors Dr Carolyn Allan and Dr Robert McLachlan of
Andrology Australia and Prince Henry's
Institute, Melbourne, VIC, analysed research linking
diabetes and cardiovascular disease to erectile dysfunction (ED). The authors
noted that the research also identified connections between obesity and
depression with reproductive health disorders.
"Studies suggest that the degree of risk for a
cardiovascular event after developing ED is similar to that due to being a
current smoker," Dr Allan said.
The analysis found that men, over the age of 20 diagnosed
with ED, were reported to have more than a twofold higher incidence rate of
atherosclerotic (a common form of arteriosclerosis in which fatty substances
form a deposit of plaque on the inner lining of arterial walls) cardiovascular
events compared with men in the general population.
"For men diagnosed with diabetes, prevalence estimates of ED
range from 34 per cent to 89 per cent," said Dr Allan.
Dr Allan suggested that ED may even be the presenting
symptom in men with undiagnosed diabetes and advised that glucose testing is
warranted as an integral part of ED evaluation.
"Despite the growing body of evidence pointing to strong
associations between general and reproductive health, a better understanding of
the interrelationships between health conditions is still needed," said Dr
"A national longitudinal study of men's health could make a
significant contribution to elucidating the intersection of biomedical,
psychosocial, social and environmental factors that impact on a man's health
and wellbeing across his lifespan."
The Medical Journal of Australia
publication of the Australian Medical Association.