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April 1, 1983

Impotence in Medical Clinic Outpatients

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Endocrinology and Metabolism (Drs Slag, Morley, Trence, Kinlaw, Beyer, and Nuttall) and Nuclear Medicine (Drs Elson, Trence, and Shafer), Veterans Administration Medical Center; and the Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota (Drs Slag, Morley, Elson, C. Nelson, A. Nelson, Kinlaw, Beyer, Nuttall, and Shafer), Minneapolis.

JAMA. 1983;249(13):1736-1740. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330370046029

One thousand one hundred eighty men in a medical outpatient clinic were screened as to the presence of impotence. Four hundred one men (34%) were impotent, and of those, 188 (47%) chose to be examined for their problem. After a comprehensive evaluation the following diagnoses were obtained: medication effect, 25%; psychogenic, 14%; neurological, 7%; urologic, 6%; primary hypogonadism, 10%; secondary hypogonadism, 9%; diabetes mellitus, 9%; hypothyroidism, 5%; hyperthyroidism, 1%; hyperprolactinemia, 4%; miscellaneous, 4%; and unknown causes, 7%. The mean age of the impotent patients was 59.4 years, and the prevalence of alcoholism was 7%. Luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, testosterone, thyroxine, triiodothyronine (T3), T3 resin uptake, and prolactin studies were necessary to diagnose individual cases. We conclude that erectile dysfunction is a common and often overlooked problem in middle-aged men followed in a medical clinic.

(JAMA 1983;249:1736-1740)