Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to attain and/or maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. ED is perceived as a common problem of older men, but few studies have addressed the prevalence of ED in diverse nationalities representing a wide range of cultural, religious, racial, and socioeconomic conditions.
In June 2003, a scientific paper1 was published in the International Journal of Impotence Research which was based on a survey, where men 35–70 years of age in Pakistan seeking primary medical care answered a structured questionnaire adapted to reflect local cultures. The age-adjusted prevalence rates of ED among men attending primary care clinics in Pakistan was found to be staggering 80.8%.
The causes of erectile dysfunction include neurological disorders, vascular diseases involving obstruction of blood vessels especially in the penile region, hormonal disorders, trauma and psychological states such as increased mental stress.
Older age, diabetes, peptic ulcers, prostate disease, depression-related symptoms, obesity, high caffeine consumption pelvic surgery and some high blood pressure medications may also increase the risk of having erectile dysfunction (ED). In general its prevalence increases with age.
(Note: Diagnostic/Self-assessment Survey for ED is based on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF – EF) Questionnaire)