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Int J Impot Res . Post-infection erectile dysfunction risk - comparing COVID-19 with other common acute viral infections: a large national claims database analysis

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  • Int J Impot Res . Post-infection erectile dysfunction risk - comparing COVID-19 with other common acute viral infections: a large national claims database analysis

    Int J Impot Res


    . 2023 Nov 17.
    doi: 10.1038/s41443-023-00794-2. Online ahead of print. Post-infection erectile dysfunction risk - comparing COVID-19 with other common acute viral infections: a large national claims database analysis

    Una E Choi 1 , Corey Able 2 , Aurora J Grutman 1 , Ankith P Maremanda 1 , Ryan C Nicholson 1 , Andrew Gabrielson 1 , Taylor P Kohn 3



    AffiliationsAbstract

    It is unknown if the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) following Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) infection is virus-specific. Our study assessed the risk of ED in COVID-19 patients as compared to patients with other common viral infections. The TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network was queried. We examined cohorts of men aged ≥18 years infected with: COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, enterovirus, acute viral hepatitis, mononucleosis, and herpes zoster. Men were included if they had at least one outpatient follow-up visit within 18 months and excluded if they had one of the other viruses of interest or a prior ED diagnosis or treatment, prostatectomy, pelvis radiation, or chronic hepatitis infection. Cohorts were propensity score matched and compared for differences in new ED diagnosis and/or prescription of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i). COVID-19 positive men were less likely to develop ED or have a PDE5i prescription than men with infected with herpes zoster [Relative Risk (RR): 0.37, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.27-0.49] and more likely to develop ED or have a PDE5i prescription than men with no acute viral illness (RR: 1.33, 95% CI 1.25-1.42). In this national propensity-matched cohort study comparing post-infection ED risk and PDE5i prescriptions, we found that COVID-19 was no more likely to result in a diagnosis of ED or prescription of PDE5i when compared to all acute viral illnesses except herpes zoster, which was more likely to result in a diagnosis of ED or prescription of PDE5i when compared to COVID-19. These findings suggest an inflammatory etiology (perhaps due to cytokine release, endothelial dysfunction, or blunted hormone signaling) behind any acute infection can result in a heightened ED risk; however, further studies are required to investigate the connection between other viral infections and ED.


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