About 30% of patients received a diagnosis of ED and prediabetes or type 2 diabetes on the same day.
New diagnoses of erectile dysfunction (ED) in young men may indicate previously undiagnosed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes or an increased risk of developing these conditions in the future, according to data recently published in Preventive Medicine.1
“This indicates a remarkable ability to predict the potential onset of illness and treat it early with lifestyle or medication,” said lead author Jane Tucker, MD, in a news release on the findings.2 Tucker is an associate professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
For the study, the investigators conducted a retrospective analysis using data from the Saint Louis University health care system’s Virtual Data Warehouse. Patients included in the study were 18 to 40 years of age (mean = 28.3 years) and were free of prediabetes, hyperglycemia, and type 2 diabetes at index evaluation. In total, 3131 patients in the ED cohort and 228,392 patients in the non-ED cohort were evaluated from 2008 to 2022.
The primary outcome was the presence of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes in the 2 years following the index visit, as determined by a diagnosis code for prediabetes, an A1c indicating prediabetes, a diagnosis code for type 2 diabetes, or an A1c indicating type 2 diabetes.
In total, 8.1% (255) of patients with ED developed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes within 2 years, compared with only 3.2% of those without ED (P < .0001). Patients who had new diagnosis of ED had a 2.5-fold increased risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes compared with patients without ED (relative risk [RR] = 2.57; 95% CI:2.28–2.90), which remained significant even after controlling for covariates in weighted data (RR = 1.34; 95% CI: 1.16–1.55).
Further, the association remained between ED and type 2 diabetes alone, with a 38% increased risk among patients with ED compared with those without ED (RR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.10–1.74). The incidence of type 2 diabetes was 3.4% among patients with ED compared with 1.4% among patients without ED.
Among patients with ED who developed the conditions, about 30% received a diagnosis of ED and prediabetes or type 2 diabetes on the same day, and about 50% received a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes within a month of ED. Nearly 75% of patients received a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes within a year of ED.
The study authors concluded,1 “ED may offer the opportunity for earlier detection and diagnoses of [type 2 diabetes], particularly in younger men. Younger patients presenting with ED should be screened for hyperglycemia.”
1. Tucker J, Salas J, Secrest S, Scherrer JF. Erectile dysfunction associated with undiagnosed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in young adult males: A retrospective cohort study. Prev Med. Published online ahead of print July 25, 2023. Accessed August 29, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2023.107646
2. SLU research: Erectile dysfunction linked to undiagnosed prediabetes, type 2 diabetes in young men. News release. Saint Louis University. August 25, 2023. Accessed August 29, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/articles/slu-research-erectile-dysfunction-linked-to-undiagnosed-prediabetes-type-2-diabetes-in-young-men