According to a recent study, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is now more prevalent among men under age 40. The study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine and conducted by Italian researchers found that out of the men seeking first-time help for the condition, 26% of them were age 40 or younger. Furthermore, almost half of these men had severe cases of ED.
The general observance before this study was an increase in the risk of ED in men as they grow older. The older the men get, the more likely they are to suffer from ED risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, lower urinary tract symptoms, and cardiovascular disease.
Research around ED in men younger than 40 has not been common because they are believed to be less likely to suffer from the risk factors. The common cause of ED in men younger than 40 years is believed to be psychological and emotional issues. Past studies show that prevalence cases for ED in men under 40 range between 2% to 40%.
Real Cause of Erection Dysfunction
In this new study, the researchers aimed at learning more about the widespread occurrence of ED among men under 40 and the true factors that might cause ED in this age group. The researchers collected data from 439 patients seeking first-time treatment for ED. They then assessed their erections using International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) to evaluate comorbidities.
The researchers also collected demographic data from the patients. From data collected, out of the 439 patients, 114 (25.9%) of the men who were seeking help for ED 40 years or below. The study found that the men under 40 years had lower cases of comorbid conditions compared to the older men. Their body mass indexes were also lower while their total testosterone levels were higher.
The IIEF test scores revealed that almost half of the men who were below 40 years had severe ED while 40% of the men over 40 years had severe ED. When it came to mild and moderate cases the numbers were the same in both age groups.
Premature Ejaculation more Prevalent in Younger Men than the Old
However, younger men suffered from premature ejaculation issues than the older men. On the other hand, more older men had Peyronie’s disease compared to the younger men. More younger men were found to be smoking and using illicit drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana and cocaine. The researchers believe these habits could be a possible factor contributing to higher ED rates among the younger men. The use of alcohol was interestingly similar among the two groups. It should be noted that frequent drug use may also lead to an irresponsible sexual lifestyle and increases the risk of contracting STDs like HIV. If you happen to notice any HIV symptoms like fever or night sweats, do visit a STD clinic soon for HIV testing.
According to the researchers, the findings of the research gave an alarming picture that clearly confirmed that ED is not a disorder attacking only the aging male. The study emphasized on the need to pay attention to erectile function impairment in younger men. The researchers recommended increased screening for cardiovascular disease for young men as ED is a marker for such medical conditions.
The researchers insist that health caregivers should take a comprehensive medical and sexual performance history during examination regardless of the patient’s age. Healthcare providers should also be proactive in finding out sexual issues among men below 40 years.
Due to the previous assumption that ED is more of an old man’s problem, many young men may continue to suffer from ED and likely refuse to seek help. We, therefore, agree with the researchers that healthcare givers should insist on screening men irrespective of their age.