[Erectile dysfunction: prevalence and effect on the quality of life; Boxmeer study].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 Mar 24; 145(12):576-81.NT
To assess the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED), and its influence on both the quality of life, and health care seeking behaviour.
An age-stratified random sample was drawn from men aged 40-79 years in Boxmeer, the Netherlands (n = 1771), together with their partners. A questionnaire was mailed to the study population to collect data on ED, and the quality of life, both general and disorder related. The prevalence of ED was measured with the direct question 'Do you have problems getting an erection?'. The influence of ED on sexual function was measured with the Dutch version of the Sexual Function Inventory questionnaire.
Seventy percent of all men (n = 1233) and 73% of their partners (n = 1071) responded to the questionnaire. The prevalence of ED increased with age class. To the question regarding problems to get an erection, 13% (95% confidence interval: 11-15%) of all men answered affirmatively (40-49 years: 6%; 50-59: 9%; 60-69: 22%; 70-79: 38%). All men aged 40-49 years of age with ED and 16% of men aged 70-79 with ED considered their ED as bothersome. Amongst 40 to 49 year old men with ED, 64% considered their ED as a big or rather a big problem. Amongst older men this percentage was much smaller: 50-59 years: 38%; 60-69: 37%, and 70-79: 27%. Thirty-four percent of all men with ED and 16% of their spouses were dissatisfied with their sex life. Twenty-five percent of men with ED consulted a doctor, with a mean delay of 13 months. ED bore a strong correlation with the general quality of life and comorbidity.
ED was a common disorder within the population. Its prevalence was higher among older age groups, but they regarded ED as less of a problem than the younger age groups. Only a quarter of all men with ED consulted a physician.