Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects the sexual health and quality of life of individuals with chronic diseases. The risk factors are diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Medications used in these conditions (except COPD) also affect erectile function. We attempted to examine the sexual satisfaction in African American males with COPD and to determine whether there is a relationship between the degree of ED and pulmonary function.
A Sexual Health Inventory for men (SHIM) questionnaire was administered to male COPD patients attending the Harlem hospital chest clinic over one month. Each patient’s SHIM score was calculated, their medical records reviewed for other comorbidities and medication history; and their Pulmonary Function Tests analyzed, particularly the FEV1 and the DLCO. Correlation coefficient was used to determine a relationship between the severity of ED and the FEV1 and/or the DLCO.
A total of 23 patients were classified into two groups: Group A(COPD only) had 10 patients whilst Group B(COPD with other co-morbidities) had 13 patients. Mean age was 60.8 years in Group A and 59.7 years in Group B. The mean SHIM scores were 10 and 13 for Groups A and B respectively. Patients in Group B were taking various antihypertensive agent(s) either singly or in combination. The comorbidities included hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. The correlation coefficients between the SHIM score versus the FEV1 and SHIM score versus the DLCO were 0.52 and 0.57 respectively overall; 0.60 and 0.87 respectively in Group A.
ED is common among patients with chronic diseases including COPD. There was no appreciable correlation between the SHIM score and the FEV1 or DLCO overall. However in patients with only COPD, there was a strong correlation between the SHIM score and the DLCO suggesting that the degree of the ED is related to the severity of the DLCO derangement.
All patients with COPD and reduced DLCO should be screened for ED and treatment options offered.
S.K. Dartey-Hayford, None.