Relation between psychosocial risk factors and incident erectile dysfunction: prospective results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is recognized as a major public health problem. ED may be due to a wide range of factors, but recent work has focused on the medical and physical etiology of ED. The importance of psychosocial risk factors should not be dismissed, however, and several cross-sectional studies have reported associations between ED and depression, anger, and dominance. Whether these factors are prospectively associated with the risk of ED has yet to be established. Longitudinal data obtained from 776 respondents in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (1987-1997) were used to examine whether the presence of depressive symptoms, the way in which anger was expressed, or the trait of dominance independently contributed to the risk of ED 8.8 years later. The results suggest that new cases of ED are much more likely to occur among men who exhibit a submissive personality. The implications of these findings are discussed.