New York: Gout, a condition characterised by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis that results in warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness in a joint may make men vulnerable to severe erectile dysfunction (ED), a study shows.
"Our results strongly support the proposal to screen all men with gout for the presence of ED," said Naomi Schlesinger, professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in the US.
"Increasing awareness of the presence of ED in gout patients should, in turn, lead to earlier medical attention and treatment for this distressing condition," she added.
In a survey of 201 men, 83 had gout, of whom a significantly greater proportion had ED (76 percent) compared with those patients without gout (52 percent).
A greater proportion of gout patients (43 percent) had severe ED compared to patients without gout (30 percent).
It is caused by deposits of needle-like monosodium urate crystals in the joints and is associated with an abnormally high level of urate in the bloodstream.
The crystals cause inflammation, swelling and pain in the affected joint.
"Because gout is commonly associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and coronary artery disease (CAD), patients with ED also have an increased rate of CVD risk factors and concomitant silent CAD. All these patients should also be evaluated for possible silent CAD," Schlesinger concluded.