Diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction
This article originally appeared on HCPLive.com.
New research suggests that sexual dysfunction can often go undiagnosed in patients with diabetes.
A recent study focused on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in men and women with type 1 diabetes (T1D) or type 2 diabetes (T2D) and provides clinicians with insight into associations between clinical variables and psychological with increased risk.
A team of researchers, led by Jolijn Van Cauwenberghe, Department of Endocrinology-Diabetology-Metabolism, University Hospital Antwerp, observed that sexual dysfunction in men was linked to clinical factors, while women reported low emotional well-being and symptoms of anxiety compared to women without sexual dysfunction.
The study was carried out as part of the Diabetes Management and Impact for Long-term Empowerment and Success (MILES), an observational study focusing on the psychosocial aspects of diabetes. Registered patients responded to an online survey that included questions about the use of socio-demographic, clinical and health care, as well as validated psychological questionnaires.
The investigators measured the sexual functioning of the patients using questions obtained from the Short Sexual Functioning Scale (SSFS). It included 13 items covering different difficulties and levels of distress caused by the dysfunction.
Participants would rate their sexual dysfunction and the stress they experienced on a mild, moderate, or severe scale. Next, investigators would determine sexual dysfunction if moderate or severe dysfunction caused moderate or severe distress.
Additionally, the WHO-5 Well-Being Index (OMS-5) collected information on general emotional well-being, with a score
The Diabetes Problem Area Scale (PAID) was used to assess diabetes-related distress, with a score ≥ 40 as the cutoff for high diabetes-related distress.
Of the 1,935 study participants, the analysis included those who had been sexually active in the past 4 weeks and had completed the SSF (n = 756). Overall, 140 of 411 men (36%) and 114 of 345 women (33%) reported sexual dysfunction.
In men, the most reported sexual dysfunctions were erectile dysfunction (T1D: 20%, T2D: 33%) and orgasmic dysfunction (T1D: 22%, T2D: 27%).
Data show that sexual dysfunction in men was associated with older age (OR = 1.05, P = 0.022), larger waist circumference (OR = 1.04; P P = .007). Additionally, more men with sexual dysfunction reported diabetes-related distress (20% vs. 12%, P = .026).
Additionally, women reported decreased sexual desire (T1D: 22%, T2D: 15%), lubrication problems (T1D: 19%, T2D: 14%), and orgasmic dysfunction (T1D: 16%, T2D : 15%).
The data also shows that women with sexual dysfunction reported impaired emotional well-being (36% vs. 25%, P = .036), diabetes-related distress (36% vs. 21%, P = 0.003) and symptoms of anxiety (20% vs. 11%, P = .026).
Investigators concluded that diabetic patients generally suffer from sexual dysfunction, with many more men and women suffering from sexual dysfunction reporting high levels of diabetes-related distress.
They noted that more research is needed to understand the biological, psychological and social mechanisms behind sexual dysfunction in these patients, as well as objectively measured clinical data.
“The protocols should further include validated instruments that not only measure the presence of SD, but also take into account the distress they create,” the investigators wrote. “By combining these elements in large studies, higher quality information on the link between diabetes and various sexual dysfunctions could be obtained.
The study “Prevalence and risk factors of sexual dysfunctions in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes: results of Diabetes MILES – Flanders” has been published online in Diabetes medicine.