A study conducted at one outpatient clinic revealed something startling: 25% of the men who went there complaining of erectile dysfunction (ED) were under age 40. Half of them suffered from moderate to severe ED.
Erection issues in younger men may be more common than first assumed. Medical experts and researchers say a broader study, covering the community at large, needs to be conducted to see how prevalent ED is among younger men. Still, this small study gives us some insight. The results were published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
ED is generally experienced by men over 40, and men aged 50 and above have a significantly greater risk of developing it, which is why these results are so shocking. Most doctors did not realize the problem could be so widespread among men under 40. To date, there has been little research on the condition in younger men.
The outpatient clinic that conducted this study is located in Milan, Italy, and is part of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele. The cases of 439 men presenting with ED symptoms, who visited the clinic between January of 2010 and June of 2012, were analyzed. Their clinical characteristics and sociodemographic information were also studied. Of these patients, 26% of them (or 114 of the 439) were 40 years of age or younger. On the average, the younger patients had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than their older counterparts, so obesity didn’t seem to be the issue. These men also had more testosterone in their bloodstream, and less cases of other medical conditions that could cause ED.
Those with ED who were younger tended to smoke more and consumed more illicit drugs. Experts wonder if there is a link. These patients experienced premature ejaculation (PE) and Peyronie’s disease more often, too. The latter is an erection which bends the penis due to internal scar tissue. Of those younger ED patients, 48.8% of them had a moderate to severe case.
Paolo Capogrosso, M.D., led the study. He told Science Daily,
“These findings, taken together with those of other studies showing the importance of erectile dysfunction as a potential “sentinel marker” of major diseases, outline the importance of taking a comprehensive medical and sexual history and to perform a thorough physical examination in all men with erectile dysfunction, irrespective of their age.”
By sentinel marker, Capogrosso means that ED can be a symptom of far more serious health conditions.
If you experience what you believe to be ED symptoms, contact a physician right away.