Men with type 1 diabetes and diabetic peripheral neuropathy are almost four times more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED) when compared to diabetic men without neuropathy, recent research suggests.
The risk of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), such as nocturia and greater urgency, is also increased in these men.
Lead author Dr. Rodica Pop-Busui of the University of Michigan Health System presented the study results in September at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2014 meeting.
Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage marked by pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet.
Six hundred thirty-five men participated in the study. They were all participants in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) study. At the time of this particular analysis, their mean age was 52 and they had had diabetes for an average of 30 years.
Neuropathy was assessed during the 13th or 14th years of the EDIC portion of the study.
ED and LUTS were evaluated during the study’s 17th year.
To assess the men’s erections, one question from the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) was asked: “Over the past 4 weeks, how would you rate your confidence that you can get and keep an erection?” The American Urological Association Symptom Index was used to diagnose LUTS.
At year 17, 30% of the men had ED, 10% of the men had LUTS, and 15% had both ED and LUTS.
However, the rates were higher for men who had had confirmed diabetic peripheral neuropathy at year 13/14. Forty-one percent had ED, 31% had LUTS, and 62% had both ED and LUTS.
After adjusting the data for other factors, such as blood pressure, age, smoking status, and drinking status, the men with neuropathy were 3.82 times more likely to have both ED and LUTS than those without neuropathy.
“We believe that physicians should ask patients about all these complications….Both diabetic peripheral neuropathy and urologic complications have a major impact on the patients' quality of life,” commented Dr. Pop-Busui in an interview with Medscape Medical News.
American Diabetes Association
(Page last edited: December 5, 2013)
EASD Virtual Meeting
Pop-Busui, Rodica, et al.
“Diabetic neuropathy and urological complications in men with type 1 diabetes in the DCCT/EDIC study”
(Abstract #127. Presented at the European Society for the Study of Diabetes 2014 meeting. September 17, 2014)
Medscape Medical News
Tucker, Miriam E.
“Diabetic Neuropathy Ups Erectile Dysfunction, Urinary Problems”
(September 17, 2014)