Risk of Erectile Dysfunction in Transfusion-naive Thalassemia Men: A Nationwide Population-based Retrospective Cohort Study

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Based on the mechanism of pathophysiology, thalassemia major or transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients may have an increased risk of developing organic erectile dysfunction resulting from hypogonadism. However, there have been few studies investigating the association between erectile dysfunction and transfusion-naive thalassemia populations. We constructed a population-based cohort study to elucidate the association between transfusion-naive thalassemia populations and organic erectile dysfunction

This nationwide population-based cohort study involved analyzing data from 1998 to 2010 obtained from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database, with a follow-up period extending to the end of 2011. We identified men with transfusion-naive thalassemia and selected a comparison cohort that was frequency-matched with these according to age, and year of diagnosis thalassemia at a ratio of 1 thalassemia man to 4 control men. We analyzed the risks for transfusion-naive thalassemia men and organic erectile dysfunction by using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

In this study, 588 transfusion-naive thalassemia men and 2337 controls were included. Total 12 patients were identified within the thalassaemia group and 10 within the control group. The overall risks for developing organic erectile dysfunction were 4.56-fold in patients with transfusion-naive thalassemia men compared with the comparison cohort after we adjusted for age and comorbidities.

Our long-term cohort study results showed that in transfusion-naive thalassemia men, there was a higher risk for the development of organic erectile dysfunction, particularly in those patients with comorbidities.

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