Erectile Dysfunction Prevalence High in Patients with Anxiety Disorders

Sarfaroj Khan 


March 04, 2021


  • This review found a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in the anxiety disorder population and evidence that suggest ED may be more severe in this population.

  • However, the evidence was limited because of the high heterogeneity between the studies.

Why this matters

  • In psychiatric practice and primary care, physicians should routinely screen for sexual dysfunction in patients with anxiety disorders.

Study design

Key results

  • The prevalence of ED in patients with anxiety disorders ranged from 0.0% to 85% and the median (interquartile range [IQR]) prevalence was 20.0% (5.1-41.2%):

    • prevalence ranged from 3.0% to 85.0% and the median (IQR) prevalence was 46.2% (10.5-77.3%) in patients with PTSD (5 studies);

    • between 2.0% and 36.2% in patients with panic disorder (4 studies); and

    • 0.0% and 20.0% in patients with SAD and OCD, respectively (1 study each).

  • The median (IQR) International Index of Erectile Function-5 score ranged from 11.08 to 25.80 with a median (IQR) score of 17.62 (13.88-20.88), which indicated a mild-to-moderate severity of ED.


  • Risk of bias.

  • Heterogeneity between the studies.


Velurajah R, Brunckhorst O, Waqar M, McMullen I, Ahmed K. Erectile dysfunction in patients with anxiety disorders: a systematic review. Int J Impot Res. 2021 Feb 18 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1038/s41443-020-00405-4. PMID: 33603242.  View abstract 

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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