Male hepatitis C patients’ sexual functioning and its determinants

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of the study was to detect sexual impairment in male hepatitis C virus patients and determine its associations.

Patients and methods

A total of 61 male hepatitis C virus patients were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Sexual functioning was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was evaluated using the Greek version of the Short Form 36 Health Survey, and the presence and severity of anxiety and depression were assessed using the Greek version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results

Noncirrhotic patients showed clinically significant dysfunction, mainly in intercourse (59.6%) and overall satisfaction (57.4%). Erectile functioning and desire were correlated with depression (r=−0.520, P=0.000 and r=−0.473, P=0.000), anxiety (r=−0.443, P=0.000 and r=−0.428, P=0.001), physical (r=0.427, P=0.001 and r=0.329, P=0.012), and mental (r=0.379, P=0.003 and r=0.432, P=0.001) HRQOL, platelet count (r=−0.357, P=0.012 and r=0.366, P=0.010), and international normalized ratio (INR) levels (r=−0.373, P=0.013 and r=−0.440, P=0.003). Erection was also correlated with albumin levels (r=0.310, P=0.032). Orgasmic functioning was associated significantly with platelet count (r=0.322, P=0.024) and INR levels (r=−0.425, P=0.004). Intercourse satisfaction was significantly related to depression (r=−0.435, P=0.001) and anxiety (r=−0.335, P=0.008) levels, physical (r=0.374, P=0.004) and mental (r=0.300, P=0.022) HRQOL, platelet count (r=0.333, P=0.020), and INR levels (r=−0.373, P=0.013), and overall satisfaction was significantly correlated with depressive (r=−0.435, P=0.001) and anxiety (r=−0.278, P=0.033) symptoms, mental HRQOL (r=0.340, P=0.010), platelet count (r=0.316, P=0.029), and INR levels (r=−0.332, P=0.030).

Conclusion

Hepatitis C is accompanied by poor sexual functioning even in the absence of cirrhosis and different correlations emerge for distinct subdomains of male sexuality.

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