MILAN, Italy, June 8 (UPI) -- One-in-4 men with newly developed erectile dysfunction are younger than age 40, and nearly half had severe ED, researchers in Italy say.
Dr. Paolo Capogrosso of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, in Milan, Italy, and colleagues assessed the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of 439 men seeking medical help for newly developed erectile dysfunction from January 2010 to June 2012 at a single academic outpatient clinic.
The study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, found of the 439 patients, 26 percent were age 40 or younger. Compared with older patients, younger patients had a lower average body mass index, a higher average level of testosterone in the blood and a lower rate of other medical conditions, the study said.
However, only 9.6 percent of younger patients had one or more concomitant medical conditions compared with 41.7 percent of the older patients, Capogrosso said.
Younger ED patients smoked cigarettes and used illicit drugs more frequently than older patients. Severe erectile dysfunction was found in 48.8 percent of younger patients and 40 percent of older patients while the rates of mild, mild-to-moderate and moderate erectile dysfunction were not significantly different between the two groups, the study said.
"Erectile function, in general, is a marker for overall cardiovascular function," Irwin Goldstein, editor in chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, said.
"We now need to consider regularly assessing the integrity of arterial inflow in young patients -- identifying arterial pathology in such patients may be very relevant to their overall long-term health."