Risk Factors

Some factors that may predispose men to suffer from erectile dysfunction include advanced age, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hypogonadism, endocrinopathies, depression, obesity, lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), alcoholism, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), voiding issues, anatomical penile abnormalities, adverse medication effects, and an inactive lifestyle.2,5  Research has shown that the most prevalent mechanism behind the onset of ED is vascular and shares similarities with cardiovascular disease.5 Onset of ED can be telling of a potential cardiovascular event approaching, frequently observed following the start of ED within young men, attesting to the necessity of CVD screening in younger populations upon ED onset.  Symptoms of erectile dysfunction may proceed a cardiovascular event by up to five years.6,7 The presence of ED in younger men increases the risk of future cardiac events by up to 50-fold.

Table 1 Risk factors with ED


● 45% of the adult US population has hypertension.8 

● Hypertension is present within 38 to 42% of men who exhibit ED.9-12



● 53% of US adults have dysregulated blood lipid levels.13 

● Elevated levels of total cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol have been correlated to moderate to severe ED.10

● Men with ED are twice as likely to have a total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio than men with sustained erectile function.14

Diabetes Mellitus

● ED has been noted as a common complication of Diabetes Mellitus, with an estimated 20 to 85% of people with diabetes having symptoms of ED depending on the severity of the diabetes.9,14,15

● There is a three-fold increase in developing ED across men with diabetes than men without diabetes.3

●The onset occurs earlier in men with diabetes than men without diabetes, and the risk increases the longer someone has diabetes.


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