Depression is correlated with the psychological and physical aspects of sexual dysfunction in men

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Few studies have objectively examined the relationship between depression and various stages of sexual function. Here we associate depression and sexual function using validated questionnaires. A retrospective review of 186 men was performed; demographics and serum hormone levels were obtained. Responses to questionnaires evaluating depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)), sexual function (International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)) and hypogonadal symptoms (quantitative Androgen Decline in the Aging Male (qADAM)) completed by each patient were correlated using Spearman's rank correlation. Mean ± s.d. subject age: 52.6 ± 12.7 years; mean serum hormone levels: TT 429.8 ± 239.2 ng dl-1, free testosterone 9.72 ± 7.5 pg ml-1 and estradiol 34.4 ± 22.8 pg ml-1. Negative correlations were observed between total PHQ-9 score and the sexual desire (ρ = -0.210, P = 0.006), intercourse satisfaction (ρ = -0.293, P<0.0001) and overall satisfaction (ρ = -0.413, P < 0.0001) domains of the IIEF and individual IIEF questions pertaining to erectile function. Men with a PHQ-9 score ≥ 10 (mild depression or worse), had lower sexual desire and sex life satisfaction. A negative correlation between PHQ-9 score and qADAM score (ρ = -0.634, P<0.0001) was observed and men with higher PHQ-9 score had lower qADAM scores. Depressive symptoms in men correlate with both psychological as well as physical aspects of sexual function.

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