Clinical and Biopsychosocial Determinants of Sexual Dysfunction in Middle-Aged and Older Australian Men

Sean Martin, Evan Atlantis, David Wilson, Kylie Lange, Matthew T. Haren, Anne Taylor, Gary Wittert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Erectile dysfunction (ED) and other related sexual dysfunctions in men have recently been shown to associate with a range of conditions and biopsychosocial factors. However, few studies have been able to control for these related factors simultaneously. Aim. To determine the prevalence of and associated risk factors for ED and low solitary and dyadic sexual desire. Main Outcome Measures. Erectile function (International Index of Erectile Function-erectile function) and sexual desire (Sexual Desire Inventory 2), as well as associated sociodemographic, lifestyle, biological, and clinical risk factors. Methods. Data were collected from 1,195 randomly selected, community-dwelling men as part of the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study. Results. The prevalence of ED, low solitary, and dyadic sexual desire was 17.7%, 67.7%, and 13.5%, respectively. Increasing age, abdominal fat mass, obstructive sleep apnea risk, and the absence of a regular partner were associated with both degrees of ED severity. Insufficient physical activity, low alcohol consumption, and hypertension were associated with mild ED only, and voiding lower urinary tract symptoms, diabetes, and lower plasma testosterone were independently associated with moderate to severe ED. Increasing age, lower alcohol consumption, insufficient physical activity, and a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or insomnia were associated with both low dyadic and solitary sexual desire. Postschool qualifications and lower plasma testosterone were associated with low dyadic desire, whereas lower education and income, unemployment, and migration were associated with low solitary sexual desire. The absence of a regular partner and postschool qualifications were associated with higher solitary sexual desire. Conclusions. While ED and low dyadic and solitary sexual desire share some risk factors, we were able to demonstrate that unique factors exist for each of these domains. Attention should first be given to addressing these modifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2093-2103
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2012


  • Decreased
  • Epidemiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Libido
  • Physiopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Urology

Cite this