Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Sexual dysfunction: the ‘prima ballerina’ of hypertension-related quality-of-life complications

Manolis, Athanasiosa; Doumas, Michaelb

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32830dd0c6

Sexual dysfunction is currently considered a serious quality-of-life-related health problem, exerting a major impact on patients' and their sexual partners' life. Available data indicate that essential hypertension is a risk factor for sexual dysfunction, as male and female sexual dysfunction is more prevalent in hypertensive patients than normotensive individuals. Several mechanisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of sexual dysfunction in hypertensive patients, and major determinants include severity and duration of hypertension, age, and antihypertensive therapy. Female sexual dysfunction, although more frequent than its male counterpart, remains largely under-recognized. Older antihypertensive drugs (diuretics, β-blockers, centrally acting) exert negative results, whereas newer drugs have either neutral (calcium antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) or beneficial effects (angiotensin receptor blockers). Erectile dysfunction is related to ischemic heart disease and might be an ‘early therapeutic window’ of asymptomatic coronary artery disease. It seems of utmost importance for every physician treating hypertensive patients to become familiar with sexual dysfunction (through better education and specific seminars) for the proper management of these patients.

aDepartment of Cardiology, Asklepeion Hospital, Athens, Greece

b2nd Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 13 April, 2008

Revised 3 June, 2008

Accepted 23 June, 2008

Correspondence to Michael Doumas, 126, Vas. Olgas str, 54645 Thessaloniki, Greece Tel: +30 2310 821795; fax: +30 2310 821795; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.