ReviewsSexual dysfunction: the ‘prima ballerina’ of hypertension-related quality-of-life complicationsManolis, Athanasiosa; Doumas, MichaelbAuthor Information 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: [email protected] Journal of Hypertension: November 2008 - Volume 26 - Issue 11 - p 2074-2084 doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32830dd0c6 Buy Metrics Abstract 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. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.