Men with psoriasis are at an increased risk for sexual dysfunction, research suggests.
This risk was greater in elderly men compared with their younger counterparts, report investigators.
The study, led by Yun-Ting Chang (Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan), suggests "physicians should pay attention to the impact of psoriasis on psychosocial and sexual health, especially in old-age patients."
Individuals with psoriasis frequently have other medical conditions, including arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and psychiatric illnesses.
Sexual activity is known to be impaired in some individuals with severe psoriasis, a finding that has been attributed to physical disfigurement, cardiovascular disease, and psychological problems.
Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the latest study included 12,300 male patients with newly diagnosed psoriasis and 61,500 controls from a national health insurance database.
Of these patients, 1812 experienced some form of sexual dysfunction during the 7-year follow-up period, including 373 men with psoriasis and 1439 without psoriasis. The most common sexual dysfunction observed was erectile dysfunction (ED).
This translated into a 27% higher risk for sexual dysfunction in men with the chronic inflammatory skin condition when compared with men without psoriasis.
When patients were stratified by age, the risk for sexual dysfunction was not significant in men 40 years of age and younger. However, men with psoriasis who were aged 41-60 years had a 32% increased risk for developing sexual dysfunction and men older than 60 years had a 42% higher risk for sexual dysfunction compared with men without psoriasis.
The risk of sexual dysfunction was not significantly elevated in men being treated with phototherapy or systemic therapy, including retinoid, methotrexate, and cyclosporine.
Overall, there were higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and stroke among the men with psoriasis, findings that confirm previous studies, according to the researchers.
"These factors have been found to be associated with ED in recent studies," they report.
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