Erectile dysfunction and its association with metabolic syndrome and endothelial function among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

John G. Ryan, Jason Gajraj

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Context: Evidence suggests that numerous comorbid conditions contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED) among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Objective: To review the relationship and mechanism between diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and ED. Methods: A manual review of authoritative literature from peer-reviewed publications from January 2001 through July 2010 was performed. These publications were further mined to consider the impact of metabolic syndrome as a comorbid condition. Publications from key references were also consulted. Results: The associations between obesity, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, T2DM, CVD, and depression with sexual dysfunction suggest that sexual dysfunction, particularly ED, is a precursor to CVD. Because these conditions share important risk factors with CVD, identifying them and their relationships with the pathogenesis of ED is likely to be critical to the manner in which primary care physicians screen for and manage this condition. Conclusions: Primary care physicians ought to establish trusting relationships with their patients, providing opportunities for them to probe such sensitive issues as sexual activities, as a means of addressing the possibility of ED. When making the new diagnosis of sexual dysfunction in the absence of metabolic disease or CVD, physicians ought to consider the risk for T2DM and CVD. Associations between metabolic disease, heart disease, and sexual dysfunction further suggest that all patients who are obese and have dyslipidemia, T2DM, and/or depression should be further screened for ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Diabetes and Its Complications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Primary care
  • Sexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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