NEW YORK — While erectile dysfunction certainly isn’t a fun topic for most men to discuss, it is generally considered an easily treatable condition that really only affects one aspect of a man’s life. However, a new international study conducted across eight countries finds that erectile dysfunction is associated with problems on the job and an overall decline in quality of life.
The study found that men suffering from erectile dysfunction were more likely to fall behind at work and become less productive. Erectile dysfunction was also linked to greater rates of staying home from work and working while sick. Besides just the workplace, erectile dysfunction was also found to be associated with higher rates of everyday life activity impairment, and lower overall physical and mental quality of life.
More than 52,000 men from Brazil, China, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were analyzed for the study. All participants were between 40-70 years old and the data was collected between 2015-2016.
Among the study participants, 49.7% dealt with erectile dysfunction, with Italy showing the highest rate (54.7%) among countries. Erectile dysfunction was diagnosed among participants using self-reported surveys describing any and all difficulties each man had regarding achieving and maintaining an erection over the previous six months.
Compared to men with no erectile issues, men dealing with ED showed higher rates of work absenteeism (7.1% vs 3.2%), higher rates of working while sick (22.5% vs 10.1%), higher rates of overall work productivity impairment (24.8% vs 11.2%), and higher rates of everyday life activity impairment (28.6% vs 14.5%).
In general, men with ED seemed to display a poorer quality of life from a physical well being prospective. It is also worth noting that ED sufferers scored significantly lower on mental health assessments as well.
“This study shows that ED remains a prevalent concern, one that impacts work productivity and absenteeism,” says co-author Wing Yu Tang in a press release. “Stemming from eight countries, the global coverage of the data also suggests that this issue is pervasive across geographies,” adds senior author Tarek Hassan.
The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.