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Erectile dysfunction linked to undiagnosed prediabetes, type 2 diabetes in young men

Research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine has found that ED indicates undiagnosed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in young men under 40. 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more common in older individuals with long-term Type 2 diabetes. However, research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine has found that ED indicates undiagnosed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in young men under 40. 

Photo by Hatice Baran from Pexels.com

Although the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes declined in the US alone from 1988 to 2020, 2.5% of the population has persistent undiagnosed diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 8.5 million adults have undiagnosed diabetes, and a quarter of these cases are among young persons 18 to 44.

In a study published in Preventive Medicine, Jane Tucker, M.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at SLU, and Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine at SLU and a member of the Saint Louis University AHEAD Institute, examined data to look at the connection between type 2 diabetes and ED.  

Researchers designed the study to determine the risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among young men with and without new ED diagnoses and the time between a new ED diagnosis and the onset of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. This retrospective study reviewed the electronic health data of 1,915,468 patients from 2008-22. The study found that ED patients have a 34% increased risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Additionally, 75% of patients developed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes within a year of ED diagnosis.

“This indicates a remarkable ability to predict the potential onset of illness and treat it early with lifestyle or medication,” Tucker said.

Other authors include Joanne Salas, MPH, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University, Harry S. Truman Veterans Administration Medical Center, Columbia, Mo., and the Advanced HEAlth Data (AHEAD) Research Institute at SLU; Scott Secrest, MPH, of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University.

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