If left untreated, metabolic syndrome can lead to an increased risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease ? both known risk factors for erectile dysfunction (ED).
Hypogonadism, or low testosterone, is an etiological factor for metablic syndrome and an etiological factor in ED. Using a sample of men with ED, German researchers investigated symptoms and incidence of metabolic syndrome and hypogonadism.
771 erectile dysfunction patients were given comprehensive screening for symptoms of hypogonadism and metabolic syndrome over a two-year period. 18.3 percent had testosterone levels less than 12 nmol/L. Of this hypogonadal subgroup, average abdominal girth was 112.2 cm, 35 percent had arterial hypertension, 21 percent were dyslipemic and 14 percent had benign prostatic hyperplasia or lower urinary tract symptoms. In this group, eight men had not yet been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, 12 had not been diagnosed with dyslipemia and five had not yet been diagnosed with heart disease. These results indicate a link between erectile dysfunction and other major health conditions, and suggest that erectile dysfunction be considered a portal to men?s health. Treatment for erectile dysfunction should involve corresponding treatment of underlying metabolic syndrome conditions and hypogonadism.