New Delhi: Diabetes is
emerging as a leading cause of erectile dysfunction among Indian
men. A recent study says that nearly half of Indian men above the
age of 40 years suffering from the condition are diabetic.
The study conducted by Alpha One Andrology Group - an association
of doctors dealing in sex-related problems in men - took into
account nearly 2,500 Indian men suffering from erectile
"The analysis revealed that 48 percent of men suffering from
erectile dysfunction above the age of 40 are diabetic. Diabetes
and erectile dysfunction go hand in hand and the results are
alarming as over 50 million Indians are diabetic," Anup Dhir,
reconstruction surgeon and andrologist, told IANS.
According to doctors, India is the diabetes capital of the world
and correspondingly exhibits a high incidence of erectile
dysfunction but they are not reported due to stigma attached to
"The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are
complex and involve impairments in nerve, blood vessel, and muscle
function. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that
control erection," said Dhir,
Men who have diabetes are thought to develop erectile dysfunction
nearly 10 to 15 years earlier than men who do not suffer from the
"Diabetes affects multiple organs because it affects the blood
vessels and the effects are mediated by decreasing blood flow and
oxygen. Erection is a blood based phenomenon and the male organ
having small blood vessels is the first to manifest it," he said.
Furthermore, people with diabetes frequently take medication to
lower blood pressure. Common prescription blood pressure
medications like some diuretics and beta blockers are known to
cause erectile dysfunction.
"These drugs not only affect and often times suppress the central
nervous system but can also cause serious damage to the blood
vessels, resulting in permanent erectile dysfunction," C.M. Batra,
endocrinologist with Apollo Hospital, told IANS.
International surveys have shown that 80 percent of men with
diabetes develop erectile dysfunction, compared to only 22-25
percent of the general population.
"About 50 percent of men with diabetes will suffer from erectile
dysfunction within 10 years of diagnosis," he said.
According to Batra, other primary causes of erectile dysfunction
include lifestyle problems like smoking, drinking alcohol, being
overweight, taking too little exercise and the other lifestyle
"The cause can also be in your medicine cabinet as there are more
than 300 medicines including a number of prescription and
over-the-counter drugs that can cause erectile dysfunction. While
these drugs may treat a disease or condition, in doing so they can
affect a man's hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, resulting
in erectile dysfunction or increase its risk," said Batra.
(Richa Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)