Increase in searches for erectile dysfunction during winter: seasonal variation evidence from Google Trends in the United States

Belén Mora Garijo, Jonathan E. Katz, Aubrey Greer, Mia Gonzalgo, Alejandro García López, Leslie Deane, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several diseases associated with erectile dysfunction (ED), such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and coronary artery disease (CAD), are known to have seasonal variation, with increased incidence during winter months. However, no literature exists on whether this chronological-seasonal evolution is also present within ED symptomatology. We hypothesized ED would follow the seasonal pattern of its lifestyle-influenced comorbid conditions and exhibit increased incidence during winter months. In order to investigate the seasonal variation of ED in the United States between 2009 and 2019, Internet search query data were obtained using Google Trends. Normalized search volume was determined during the winter and summer seasons for ED, other diseases known to be significantly associated with ED (T2DM and CAD), kidney stones (positive control), and prostate cancer (negative control). There were significantly more internet search queries for ED during the winter than during the summer (p = 0.001). CAD and T2DM also had significantly increased search volume during winter months compared to summer months (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively). By contrast, searches for kidney stones were significantly increased in the summer than in the winter (p < 0.001). There was no significant seasonal variation in the relative search frequency for prostate cancer (p = 0.75). In conclusion, Google Trends internet search data across a ten-year period in the United States suggested a seasonal variation in ED, which implies an increase in ED during winter. This novel finding in ED epidemiology may help increase awareness of ED’s associated lifestyle risk factors, which may facilitate early medical evaluation and treatment for those at risk of both ED and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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