University of Oulu

Saramies J, Koiranen M, Auvinen J, Uusitalo H, Hussi E, Becker S, Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi S, Tuomilehto J, Suija K. A Natural History of Erectile Dysfunction in Elderly Men: A Population-Based, Twelve-Year Prospective Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2022; 11(8):2146.

A natural history of erectile dysfunction in elderly men : a population-based, twelve-year prospective study

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Author: Saramies, Jouko1,2; Koiranen, Markku2; Auvinen, Juha2,3;
Organizations: 1South Karelia Social and Health Care District, 53130 Lappeenranta, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, PL 100, 33014 Tampere, Finland
5Tays Eye Centre, Tampere University Hospital, 33014 Tampere, Finland
6Healthcare and Social Services of Selänne, 98530 Pyhäjärvi, Finland
7Public Health Promotion Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, 00280 Helsinki, Finland
8Diabetes Research Group, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
9Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of Tartu, 50411 Tartu, Estonia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-15


There is a wide variation in the development and course of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, which confirms the need for prospective studies. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis among the general male population at the baseline (n = 359) and in a follow-up survey (n = 218) 12 years later. The prospective 12-year study included 189 men. ED was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. The mean age of the participants was 62.0 years at the baseline, while at the 12-year follow-up it was 71.6 years. The crude prevalence of ED was 61.6% at the baseline and 78.9% at the follow-up, and the prevalence tended to increase with age. All of the men aged 75 years or more had at least mild ED. The incidence of ED in every thousand person years was 53.5. A total of 54.5% of the men experienced ED progression, while 39.2% reported no changes in erectile function, and 6.3% experienced ED regression during the 12-year study. The likelihood of ED progression was higher in the older compared with younger age group (odds ratio, OR 5.2 (95% CI: 1.1–26.2)), and the likelihood of ED regression was lower among men with increased depression symptoms (OR 0.3 (95% CI: 0.1–0.6)) and among men with a decreased interest in their sexual life (OR 0.1 (95% CI: 0.0–0.6)). Lifestyle factors such as the consumption of alcohol and smoking were not significantly associated with ED.

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Series: Journal of clinical medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
ISSN-E: 2077-0383
ISSN-L: 2077-0383
Volume: 11
Issue: 8
Article number: 2146
DOI: 10.3390/jcm11082146
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This work was supported by the Savitaipale Community and Health Centre, EVO grants, and laboratory support from the South Karelia Central Hospital, Viipurin tuberkuloosisäätiö, and the Elsemay Björn Fund.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (