Studies have shown that there is an association between depression and male erectile dysfunction (MED). However, these earlier studies suffer considerable methodological flaws including: a) lack of a multidisciplinary approach; b) poor sampling techniques; and finally, c) poor and variable measures of MED and depression. Our objectives are: a) to determine whether MED is associated with depressive symptoms and b) to determine whether this association is independent of aging and para-aging factors.
Data were obtained from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS). The MMAS was a cross-sectional, population-based multidisciplinary survey of health in normally aging men (aged 40-70 years) conducted from 1986 to 1989. In the analytic model, depressive symptoms, as measured by a score of 16 or greater on the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale, was used as a predictor of MED, which was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire.
MED was associated with depressive symptoms after controlling for potential confounders (odds ratio (OR) 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21-2.73).
We conclude that the relationship between depressive symptoms and MED in middle-aged men is robust and independent of important aging and para-aging confounders, such as demographic, anthropometric and lifestyle factors, health status, medication use, and hormones.