About ED


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse.1


Estimates of the prevalence of ED in the United States range up to 30 million, depending on the definition used.2


ED has been found to be associated with age: in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, the prevalence of ED in a cohort of men 40 to 70 years old was 52%.3 By age 70, the prevalence may be as high as 67%. Although ED increases progressively with age, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.



Erectile dysfunction can be classified as psychogenic, organic (neurogenic, hormonal, injury-related, or drug-induced), or mixed (combination of psychogenic and organic factors). The majority of men diagnosed with ED have a mixed etiology. Psychogenic aspects can include performance anxiety, a strained relationship, lack of sexual arousability, and disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.1

Organic risk factors include neurologic disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease; vascular disorders such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia; hypogonadism; and chronic diseases such as diabetes and renal failure. In fact, about 50% of men with chronic diabetes have ED. In addition, many drugs have been reported to cause ED.1


It is important for patients to know that ED can be successfully treated in most men. The first line of therapy for ED is the use of oral medications known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, such as GIOXIL.

1. Lue TF. Drug therapy: erectile dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(24):1802-1813.
2. NIH Consensus Conference. Impotence. NIH Consensus Development Panel on Impotence. JAMA. 1993;270(1):83-90.
3. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol. 1994;151(1):54-61.


HealthcareProf Patient Info