Study documents effect of LUTS on erectile function

September 7, 2005

A study presented at the AUA annual meeting confirmed what many urologists have suspected: The sexual health of men is affected by the severity of their lower urinary tract symptoms.

A study presented at the AUA annual meeting confirmed what many urologists have suspected: The sexual health of men is affected by the severity of their lower urinary tract symptoms. Sexual health also declined with age, while African-American patients fared slightly worse than Caucasian patients in terms of sexual function, according to the authors, from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

The researchers, including lead author E. David Crawford, MD, evaluated LUTS and sexual function in 6,078 men who were screened for prostate cancer in 2003 and who completed two different questionnaires—the American Urological Association Symptom Score and the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM). Age and race were assessed as independent factors affecting the SHIM score. The mean age of the patients was 60.2 years; 81% were Caucasian.

The median AUA Symptom Score was 5/35 (<7 indicates mild to no symptoms), and the median SHIM score was 18/25 (>15 indicates normal sexual function). For men who scored less than 7 on the AUA Symptom Score, the mean SHIM score was 17 (+/ 5.6). Men with moderate symptoms according to the AUA Symptom Score (8 to 19) had a mean SHIM score of 14 (+/ 6.3), and men with severe symptoms (20 to 35) had a mean SHIM score of 11 (+/ 6.1).

Age showed an inverse correlation with SHIM score (p<.001). Men in their 40s had a mean SHIM score of 20, men in their 50s had a mean SHIM score of 18, and those in their 60s had a mean SHIM score of 15.

On average, African-American men had lower SHIM scores than Caucasian men matched by age and AUA Symptom Score (p<.001). African-American men had at least a 0.85 lower SHIM score than age-matched Caucasians.