For males who have had type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years, sexual dysfunction is associated with large vessel cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Sara J. Turek, M.P.H., from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between self-reported sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease in 301 males with 50 or more years of type 1 diabetes.

The researchers found that 69.8 percent of participants reported a history of sexual dysfunction. After adjustment for age, glycated hemoglobin, and body mass index, sexual dysfunction was independently associated with cardiovascular disease (odds ratio, 1.9). Retinal, neural, and renal complications were not associated with sexual dysfunction in adjusted analyses (P > 0.05). There was a significant correlation between self-reported longitudinal sexual dysfunction and currently reported sexual dysfunction in a subset of males, as determined by the abbreviated International Index of Erectile Dysfunction.

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“Sexual dysfunction in those with extreme-duration type 1 diabetes is independently associated with cardiovascular disease, representing a large vessel pattern,” Turek and colleagues conclude. “These individuals have also been found to be relatively free of microvascular complications.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.