While erectile dysfunction certainly isn’t a fun topic for most men to discuss, it is generally considered an easily treatable condition that really only affects one aspect of a man’s life.
However, a new international study conducted across eight countries finds that erectile dysfunction is associated with problems on the job and an overall decline in quality of life.
Researchers from pharmaceutical company Pfizer, healthcare research firm Kantar Health and Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, California carried out a global investigation to determine how erectile dysfunction impacts productivity and absenteeism – when an individual is habitually absent from work.
Published in The International Journal of Clinical Practice, the study assessed more than 50,000 men aged between 40 and 70 in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
The team analysed data gathered from National Health and Wellness Surveys in 2015 and 2016.
According to the study’s findings, 24.8 per cent of men with erectile dysfunction reported work productivity impairment, in comparison to 11.2 per cent of men who don’t experience impotence.
Meanwhile, 28.6 per cent of the men with erectile dysfunction reported general activity impairment, almost double the percentage of men who are not afflicted by the issue.
Furthermore, 7.1 per cent of the men who experience impotence said that they stay home from work, and 22.5 per cent stated that they work while they are unwell.
In comparison, 3.2 per cent of the men who do not have erectile dysfunction reported absenteeism, and a tenth said that they continue to work when they are not well.
Wing Yu Tang, director at Pfizer and co-author of the research, emphasised the significance of the study’s findings.
“This study shows that erectile dysfunction remains a prevalent concern, one that impacts work productivity and absenteeism,” the researcher said.
Tarek Hassan, from the department of medical affairs at Pfizer and senior author of the study, also highlighted the extent to which impotence affects men across the globe.
“Stemming from eight countries, the global coverage of the data also suggests that this issue is pervasive across geographies,” Hassan said.
Of the eight countries assessed for the study, Italy was reported as having the highest rate of erectile dysfunction, affecting more than half of its male population.
According to the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS), erectile dysfunction affects between 50 and 55 per cent of men aged between 40 and 70 years old.
Erectile dysfunction is defined by BAUS as being the “inability to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for penetration and for the satisfaction of both sexual partners.”
The NHS states that the main causes of the condition are stress, tiredness, anxiety and excessive consumption of alcohol.