COPD is a risk factor for sexual dysfunction and should be addressed by clinicians, as it is typically associated with a diminished quality of life, according to research published in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine.

The team noted the condition is not listed as a comorbidity in the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines.

In looking at 70 male COPD patients the rate of any erectile dysfunction according to the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire was 78.6%, as compared to 55.8% in healthy controls. Investigators also found that the degree of severity of erectile dysfunction was greater in COPD patients.

There was also a moderate negative correlation between erectile dysfunction and FEV1, as well as with oxygen saturation, and a positive correlation with age.

“Sexual dysfunction and depression should be carefully questioned when recording the history of patients with COPD, and this information should be used in therapy planning,” the authors concluded.