Erectile Dysfunction Prevalence Spikes in Hyperthyroid Men

Marlene Busko

May 02, 2023

Researchers published the study covered in this summary on Research Square as a preprint that has not yet been peer reviewed.

Key Takeaways

  • Men with hyperthyroidism had a significant 73% higher prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) compared with similar men without hyperthyroidism in a meta-analysis of four studies that collectively included more than 25,000 men.

  • About 99% of the men included in the meta-analysis came from one of the four included studies, a case-control population-based study run in China.

Why This Matters

  • The relationship between hyperthyroidism and ED has not been clear.

  • Knowledge about the relationship between ED and hyperthyroidism is important for making informed diagnostic and therapeutic choices.

  • Further studies are needed to determine if low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone, T3, and T4 are risk factors for ED, and if so whether this would contraindicate use of antithyroid drugs.

Study Design

  • The researchers searched the medical literature for studies published in English that evaluated the prevalence of ED in men with hyperthyroidism.

  • They identified four studies of men aged 18 or older in which ED was diagnosed by a validated tool such as the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5), and which included a relative-risk estimate or odds ratio for the prevalence of ED in men with hyperthyroidism compared with men without this condition.

Key Results

  • Four studies with a combined total of 25,519 men — 6429 with hyperthyroidism and 19,090 without hyperthyroidism — met the inclusion criteria, with 99% of these study subjects coming from one study that ran in China.

  • The overall prevalence of ED in patients with comorbid hyperthyroidism was 31.1%. The overall prevalence of ED in patients with combined uncomplicated hyperthyroidism was 21.9%.

  • The odds ratio for having ED was significantly higher in men with hyperthyroidism compared with those without hyperthyroidism in the study from China, at 1.74, and also in the meta-analysis, which produced a significant odds ratio of 1.73. But the odds ratios in each of the other three studies included in the analysis were not significant.


  • The meta-analysis included just four studies because of the small number of studies on this topic that have appeared in the medical literature.


  • The study did not receive commercial funding.

  • The authors report no relevant financial relationships.

This is a summary of the preprint research study "High prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with hyperthyroidism: a meta-analysis," written primarily by researchers from the Changsha Hospital for Maternal and Child Health Care of Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China, on Research Square and provided to you by Medscape. This study has not yet been peer reviewed. The full text of the study can be found on

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