Erectile dysfunction in young patients is a proxy of overall men's health status

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Purpose of review This article summarizes current findings supporting the role of erectile dysfunction as a proxy of general health status, with a focus on the young population. Recent findings Erectile dysfunction has been historically associated to increased cardiovascular risk and mortality. Several studies supported the role of erectile dysfunction as a predictive factor of subsequent cardiovascular events, acquiring significant importance even in young men. Similarly, erectile dysfunction emerged as a potential marker for metabolic alterations including diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, eventually presenting as the initial manifestation of a dysmetabolic condition in young patients. Moreover, current epidemiologic data demonstrated a significant association of erectile dysfunction with several conditions including vascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders, and endocrine with chronic-sustained inflammation representing the common pathophysiological link between erectile dysfunction and comorbidities. Interestingly, longitudinal studies demonstrated a higher risk of overall mortality in patients complaining of erectile dysfunction, even irrespective of cardiovascular risk. Summary Erectile dysfunction does not represent an uncommon condition among young men. Considering the amount of data demonstrating a strong correlation between several life-risky comorbidities and erectile dysfunction, a careful and comprehensive general health assessment of patients complaining of erectile dysfunction should be carried out, regardless of patient's age. The identification of erectile dysfunction as an early sign of a major comorbidity would allow the implementation of therapeutic measures aimed at improving the overall health status and life expectancy across the entire aging process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140 - 145
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2015



  • erectile dysfunction
  • overall health status
  • young men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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