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Majority Of Men Do Not Treat Their Erectile Dysfunction

San Diego, CA, May 6,2013 – Millions of American men live with erectile dysfunction (ED) and although ED therapies are shown to be highly effective and improve a man’s quality of life, nearly 75 percent do not seek treatment, according to a study at the 108th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). The study will be presented to reporters at the during a press conference at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA on May 6 at 8:00 a.m. PDT. 

“Despite ED treatments being available to men for nearly 15 years as well as heavily promoted in mainstream media, one wonders why they are not seeking care known to improve their quality of life,” said Ajay Nangia, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, University of Kansas Medical Center. “We need to have a better understanding of where the disconnect between diagnosis and treatment occurs.”

Study Details

Previous research on the treatment of ED has involved small patient populations; however researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL and Northshore University Health System, Evanston, IL sought to evaluate a larger patient base. During a 12-month period ending in June 2011, study investigators identified patients diagnosed with ED to determine how frequently medical therapies were used to treat the condition and to look at associated co-morbidities. Patients were considered “treated” if they filled a prescription for a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i), injection or urethral prostaglandins or androgen replacement (ART). “Untreated” patients received the ED diagnosis, but did not fill a prescription.

Results showed:

  • Of the more than 6.2 million ED patients examined, 25.4 percent were treated and 74.6 percent went untreated.
  • The most commonly prescribed medications were PDE5i (75.2 percent) and ART (30.6 percent).
  • Treatment frequency was higher in men who also had low levels of testosterone (51 percent treated), but lower in those who also had prostate cancer (15 percent treated). Treatment frequency did not vary significantly with other associated comorbidities.

Study investigators concluded undertreatment of ED continues to be common, even though treatments have a proven efficacy and quality of life impact.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss this study outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail Communications@auanet.org.

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 19,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA