Erectile dysfunction is frequent in systemic sclerosis and associated with severe disease: A study of the EULAR Scleroderma Trial and Research group

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Abstract

Introduction: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in men with systemic sclerosis (SSc) but the demographics, risk factors and treatment coverage for ED are not well known.Method: This study was carried out prospectively in the multinational EULAR Scleroderma Trial and Research database by amending the electronic data-entry system with the International Index of Erectile Function-5 and items related to ED risk factors and treatment. Centres participating in this EULAR Scleroderma Trial and Research substudy were asked to recruit patients consecutively.Results: Of the 130 men studied, only 23 (17.7%) had a normal International Index of Erectile Function-5 score. Thirty-eight per cent of all participants had severe ED (International Index of Erectile Function-5 score ≤ 7). Men with ED were significantly older than subjects without ED (54.8 years vs. 43.3 years, P < 0.001) and more frequently had simultaneous non-SSc-related risk factors such as alcohol consumption. In 82% of SSc patients, the onset of ED was after the manifestation of the first non-Raynaud's symptom (median delay 4.1 years). ED was associated with severe cutaneous, muscular or renal involvement of SSc, elevated pulmonary pressures and restrictive lung disease. ED was treated in only 27.8% of men. The most common treatment was sildenafil, whose efficacy is not established in ED of SSc patients.Conclusions: Severe ED is a common and early problem in men with SSc. Physicians should address modifiable risk factors actively. More research into the pathophysiology, longitudinal development, treatment and psychosocial impact of ED is needed. © 2012 Foocharoen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Foocharoen, C., Tyndall, A., Hachulla, E., Rosato, E., Allanore, Y., Farge-Bancel, D., … Walker, U. A. (2012). Erectile dysfunction is frequent in systemic sclerosis and associated with severe disease: A study of the EULAR Scleroderma Trial and Research group. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar3748

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