Erectile dysfunction linked to undiagnosed prediabetes, type 2 diabetes in young men


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more common in older individuals with long-term Type 2 diabetes. However, emerging research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine has found that ED indicates undiagnosed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in young men under 40.

Although the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes declined in the United States from 1988 to 2020, 2.5% of the population has persistent undiagnosed diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 8.5 million adults have undiagnosed diabetes, and a quarter of these cases are among young persons 18 to 44.

In a recent study published in Preventive Medicine, Jane Tucker, M.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at SLU, and Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine at SLU and a member of the Saint Louis University AHEAD Institute, examined data to look at the connection between type 2 diabetes and ED.

Researchers designed the study to determine the risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among young men with and without new ED diagnoses and the time between a new ED diagnosis and the onset of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

This retrospective study reviewed the electronic health data of 1,915,468 patients from 2008-22. The study found that ED patients have a 34% increased risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Additionally, 75% of patients developed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes within a year of ED diagnosis.

“This indicates a remarkable ability to predict the potential onset of illness and treat it early with lifestyle or medication,” Tucker said.

More information:
Jane Tucker et al, Erectile dysfunction associated with undiagnosed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in young adult males: A retrospective cohort study, Preventive Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2023.107646

Journal information:
Preventive Medicine

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