Prevalence, Risks for Sexual Dysfunction Vary by Veteran Age

Discrepancy observed between documented erectile dysfunction, prescriptions for ED

FRIDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, the prevalence and risk factors for sexual dysfunction (SD) vary with age, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

G.M. Monawar Hosain, M.D., Ph.D., from the Houston VA HSR&D Center of Excellence in Houston, and colleagues analyzed data from the Veteran Affairs administrative database to estimate the prevalence of SD and examine its association with sociodemographic, mental health, comorbid conditions, and life style factors for 4,755 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans.

The researchers found that the overall prevalence of SD was 5.5 percent, and ranged from 3.6 percent for veterans aged 18 to 40 years to 15.7 percent for veterans aged older than 40 years. Among younger veterans, significant risk factors for SD included annual income, marital status, post-traumatic stress disorder, and hypertension, while for older veterans, risk factors included being African-American, having post-traumatic stress disorder, and hypertension. A marked discrepancy was observed between recorded erectile dysfunction and prescription of a primarily phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor.

"We suggest more focused assessment of sexual dysfunction in this population," the authors write. "This could result in more accurate documentation of this health issue, a more holistic assessment of its impact on psychosocial issues (such as intimate-partner relationship), and more appropriate treatment and referral for indicated services, such as counseling, which in turn could increase the health and quality of life of our Iraq/Afghanistan veterans."

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