The rate of U.S. servicemen suffering from erectile dysfunction has more than doubled over the past decade.
The Armed Service Health Surveillance Center made the announcement that a new report by the center found 100,248 ED cases occurred within a ten year period. Investigators wrote that cases of ED increased “from 5.8 cases per 1,000 p-yrs in 2004 to 12.6 cases per 1,000 p-yrs in 2013.” Approximately 10,000 servicemen per year between 2004 and 2013 were diagnosed with ED. The army had the highest rate, 48,445 cases or 10.9%. Next was the Navy with 20,281 cases, a rate of 7.3%. The Air Force had 20,805 cases, 8.3% and the Coast Guard has 2,895 cases or 8.3%. Older servicemen had the highest incidents, particularly those 60 years of age and older. But experts saw an uptick in the 40 year old and older range.
Servicemen who were widowed, divorced, or separated were four times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than those who remained single. Another interesting find, both African-American and non-Hispanic military personnel had twice the rate of ED of other racial groups. Investigators wrote, “Additionally, black, non-Hispanic service members have higher incidence rates of several conditions known to be risk factors for ED (i.e., hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.).” This study’s findings are similar to those done on the civilian population within the same period.
There was one stark difference, however. Men with lower levels of education in civilian life tend to experience ED more often. But with servicemen, it flip-flopped. “…This study indicated that those with higher levels of education were more likely to be diagnosed with ED.” One striking find was that servicemen who never deployed had the highest reported incidents, 10.1 per 1,000 members.
Health records were used to obtain this information, specifically observing those men who sought medical care for ED. Many more may be failing to report the condition due to embarrassment, making researchers believe that incidents among servicemen could be much higher. The report states that surveys and other measures should be used to investigate further.