Over three quarters of men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have some level of erectile dysfunction, according to new research.
The study, published in the journal Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, has led to researchers calling for doctors to address sexual issues with COPD patients as a matter of course.
Previous studies have identified sexual dysfunction is an issue for people with COPD, however the condition is not currently recognised as a comorbidity in the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines.
The new study analysed 70 men with COPD and compared them to 68 people without COPD. They assessed the rate of any erectile dysfunction according to the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire and found that 78.6% of COPD patients said they experienced erectile difficulties compared to 55.8% of the men without COPD.
The level of erectile dysfunction was greater in people with COPD, with 35.7% of people with COPD classified as having severe dysfunction compared with just 10.3% of men without COPD.
The researchers conclude that sexual dysfunction and depression should be discussed when recording the medical history of people with COPD, and this information used in planning treatment and support.
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