Two out of three Korean men over 40 suffer from sexual dysfunctions, a study suggests. A team led by Prof. Kim Young-sik at the University of Ulsan's Asan Medical Center surveyed 1,313 male outpatients in the age group who visited the hospital with other complaints from August 2010 to May 2011.
It found that 845 patients or 64.4 percent said they experienced sexual dysfunctions. Impotence topped the list at 43.9 percent, followed by premature ejaculation (39.9 percent) and menopausal disorders (19 percent).
The proportion of impotent men rose with age -- 52.1 percent among those in their 40s, 65.8 percent among those in their 50s, 73.8 percent among those in their 60s, and 79 percent among those aged 70 or over. But for premature ejaculation there was little difference among age groups, with one out of five suffering from the symptom.
The team scored questionnaire data to diagnose impotence and premature ejaculation and measured testosterone levels to decide whether patients had menopausal disorders.
In general, those with chronic diseases were more likely to experience sexual dysfunctions than others in the same age group. Hypertension increased the likelihood 1.3 times and diabetes 1.6 times. Another 10 years of age increased it 1.6 times.
The risk of impotence rose 3.1 times if patients were depressed. Menopausal disorders were twice more common among those with abdominal obesity, which decreases the secretion of male hormones. People's marital status was also a factor in premature ejaculation, with singles and divorcees more susceptible to the symptom.
The high prevalence of sexual dysfunctions even among patients who visited the hospital to treat other symptoms suggests that Korean middle-aged men suffer from a variety of chronic diseases and stress, Prof. Kim said.