Erectile Dysfunction in Singapore: Prevalence and Its Associated Factors – A Population-Based Study

Purpose: To study the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in Singapore males aged 30 and above and its association with demographic, medical and other risk factors.

Methodology: A population based cross sectional study of 729 men aged 30 and above in Singapore was conducted using the abridged, five-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). Presence of erectile dysfunction was defined as IIEF-5 score of less than 21. Erectile dysfunction was further categorised into mild (IIEF-5: 16-20), moderate (IIEF-5: 11-15) and severe (IIEF-5: <11). A logistic regression model was used to identify significant independent risk factors for ED.

Results: Overall, 51.3% of respondents (n=374) reported some degree of erectile dysfunction. Of these, 23.2% have mild ED, 8.8% have moderate ED and 19.3% had severe ED. The prevalence of ED increased from 42.8% for men in their forties to 77.4% in their sixties. The prevalence of severe ED increased from 9.1% in men in their forties to 43.5% in their sixties and 77.0% in those aged 70 and above. Age above 50 years is the single most significant risk factor on multivariate analysis when adjusted for all confounding factors. Other important risk factors include Indian ethnic group, lower household income, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus and cardiac diseases.

Conclusion: Erectile dysfunction is common amongst Singaporean men. Age is the single most important physiologic factor affecting erectile function. The prevalence and severity increased significantly with age after 50 years old. With an ageing population, erectile dysfunction may become a significant health problem. Health care providers should plan their resources accordingly.