Frequency and determinants of erectile dysfunction in Italy

Fabio Parazzini, Fabrizio Menchini Fabris, Angela Bortolotti, Antonino Calabrò, Liliane Chatenoud, Enrico Colli, Marina Landoni, Maurizio Lavezzari, Paolo Turchi, Aurelio Sessa, Vincenzo Mirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To analyze the prevalence and risk factors for erectile dysfunction (ED) in Italy in a cross-sectional study. Methods: Eligible for the study were men aged 18 years or more, randomly identified by 143 general practitioners among their registered patients during the period January 1996 to February 1997. ED was defined as the impossibility to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Results: Of the 2010 men interviewed, 257 (12.8) reported ED. The prevalence increased with age, from 2 in men aged 18-39 to 48 in those > 70 years (tested for trend, p = 0.0001). A history of cardiopathy, diabetes, hypertension, neuropathy, thrombotic/hemorrhagic stroke, peripheral vascular disorders, pelvic/medullary injury and pelvic surgery/radiation all increased the risk of ED. The association of hypertension and diabetes tends to increase the risk of ED. In comparison with nondiabetic and nonhypertensive men, the odds ratio (OR) was 1.4 (95 confidence interval (CI), 0.7-3.2) for hypertensive men without diabetes, 4.6 (95 CI, 1.6-13.7) for diabetic men without hypertension and 8.1 (95 CI, 1.2-55.0) for men with diabetes and hypertension. In comparison with never smokers, the OR of ED was 1.7 (95 CI, 1.2-2.4) for current smokers and 1.6 (95 CI, 1.1-2.3) for ex-smokers and increased with duration of the habit. Conclusions: The study offers a quantitative estimate of the prevalence of ED and of its main risk factors in Italian men. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Erectile dysfunction, prevalence
  • Erectile dysfunction, risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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