Men with gout are frequently affected by erectile dysfunction and should be screened for the condition, according to US researchers.
The team surveyed 201 men, aged 18-89 years, who presented at a rheumatology clinic between 2010 and 2013, about their sexual health.
They found erectile dysfunction was much more common among the 83 men with gout (76%) than the remaining men without (52%). The men with gout were also much more likely to report severe erectile dysfunction (35% compared with 15%).
The researchers said the association between gout and erectile dysfunction was significant even after taking confounding factors such as age, hypertension and obesity into account. They argued men with gout should be screened for erectile dysfunction to ensure they get early treatment for the condition and can also be checked out for possible underlying cardiovascular disease.
Lead researcher Dr Naomi Schlesinger, from Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Brunswick, New Jersey, said: ‘These results strongly support the proposal to screen all men with gout for the presence of erectile dysfunction. Increasing awareness of the presence of erectile dysfunction in gout patients should in turn lead to earlier medical attention and treatment for this distressing condition.’
Dr Schlesinger added: ‘Because gout is commonly associated with cardiovascular risk factors and coronary artery disease, and patients who present with erectile dysfunction also have an increased rate of cardiovascular disease risk factors… all these patients should also be evaluated for possible silent coronary artery disease.’
The findings were reported at the recent European League Against Rheumatism annual congress in Paris.