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30-10-2011 | Endocrinology | Article

Psoriasis linked to increase erectile dysfunction risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study results suggest that men with a history of psoriasis have an increased risk for erectile dysfunction (ED) compared with their counterparts without the skin condition.

"It has been suggested that there is a strong relationship between… endothelial dysfunction, vascular insufficiency, and nitric oxide dysfunction, and that all of these conditions are involved in the development of psoriasis and ED," say Herng-Ching Lin (Taipei Medical University, Taiwan) and colleagues.

"ED shares several risk factors with psoriasis, such as metabolic syndrome, smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disorders," they add.

However, the researchers explain that, to their knowledge, only one small study has previously assessed the possibility of a link between the two conditions, and the cohort was only selected from the dermatology departments of two teaching hospitals.

To investigate further, Lin and team analysed data from Taiwan's nationwide Longitudinal Health Insurance Database (2000) for 4606 men diagnosed with ED between 2002 and 2009, and 13,818 matched healthy individuals without ED (controls; three per case of ED). Participants were aged a mean 57.3 years.

The researchers assessed whether the men had been previously diagnosed with psoriasis and whether the condition was more likely in patients with ED compared with controls. Psoriasis was identified based on a diagnosis of International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9-CM code 696.0 or 696.1.

In total, 136 (0.7%) participants had a history of psoriasis. Of these, 77 (1.7%) were from the ED group and 59 (0.4%) from the control group.

Following adjustment for possible confounders such as monthly income, geographic location, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and alcohol abuse/alcohol dependence syndrome status, patients with ED were a significant 3.85-fold more likely to have a history of psoriasis than controls.

Lin and team caution that the use of ICD codes to diagnose psoriasis and ED in the study may have been a limiting factor since the conscientiousness of the transcription from a patient's medical charts to the administrative nationwide database cannot be guaranteed.

They also note that some factors that they did not have information on may have influenced risks for psoriasis or ED such as location and severity of lesions, hormone levels, obesity, and smoking status.

Writing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Lin et al say: "This study revealed an association between ED and prior psoriasis even after adjusting for potential confounding factors."

They conclude that the results of the study highlight a need for clinicians dealing with psoriasis patients to be "alert to the possible development of ED."

By MedWire Reporters

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