The largest ever study assessing Men’s Attitudes to Life Events and
Sexuality (MALES), published in the May issue of Current Medical and Research Opinion shows that almost one in six (16%) of the general male population aged 20 to 75 experience erectile dysfunction (ED)
The results are consistent with other reports that estimate that some degree of
ED affects more than half of men over the age of 40, and that worldwide an estimated 152 million men suffer from the condition.2,3 It is anticipated that the number of men suffering from ED will double to 322 million by 2025. ED is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability of a man to attain and/or maintain a penile erection sufficient for sexual performance.
The MALES study is one of the largest epidemiological surveys to investigate prevalence of ED. Unfortunately, ED is still a condition that remains under diagnosed
despite the many medical risk factors that are associated with it.
Men with other co-morbid medical conditions and medical risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and depression all a higher prevalence of ED. Overall 29% of the men with ED also reported one co-morbid condition, 20% reported two, 11% reported three, and 5% reported four or more.
The study also showed that among the men who reported ED, less than six out of 10 (58%) sought professional help for their condition. Of those that did, only half were prescribed an oral therapy, and only 16 percent of men with ED were maintaining treatment with the only oral therapy available at the time the study was undertaken.
Additional data on men’s attitudes to treatment uncovered by the MALES study show that reliability and rapid onset are two of the key parameters men are looking for when considering treatment options, while lack of efficacy was cited by 34 percent of patients who discontinued treatment.
The MALES study was funded by the Bayer Corporation. It is a large multi-national, two-phased investigation that spanned eight countries over three continents (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK and USA). The MALES Phase l study sample consisted of 27,839 men, aged 20-75 years. Phase ll of MALES involved 2,912 men who were identified from the sub-sample of Phase l MALES participants who reported ED, and from additional recruitment techniques, including physician referrals.
A follow up to the MALES study is currently being undertaken. It is anticipated that preliminary results will be available Q3 2004.