Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia
Rev Port Pneumol 2017;23:259-65 - Vol. 23 Num.5 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.04.005
Original article
Does any association exist between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Erectile Dysfunction? The DECODED study
M. Diasa,, , M.J. Oliveiraa, P. Oliveirab,c, I. Ladeiraa, R. Limaa, M. Guimarãesa
a Pulmonology Department, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
b ISPUP-EPIUnit, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
c Population Studies Department, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Received 13 February 2017, Accepted 18 April 2017
Related article:

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Recent studies have shown an association between ED and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, this issue is often ignored. We aimed to evaluate the ED prevalence in COPD patients and its risk factors and to study the impact of dyspnea in sexual activity.


Cross-sectional study that included sexually active male patients with COPD. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire evaluated ED and the Respiratory Experiences with Sexuality Profile (RESP) was used to evaluate the impact of dyspnea on sexual activity. Risk factors for mild-moderate or moderate ED were determined using logistic regression.


84 patients were consecutively assessed for eligibility, 67 were included (median age: 65 years, 13% never-smokers). Twenty two percent had COPD 2011-GOLD A; 22% GOLD B, 14% GOLD C and 42% GOLD D. Fifty-eight patients (87%) had some degree of ED: 26 (45%) mild, 20 (34%) mild-moderate and 12 (21%) moderate ED. ED occurred in all GOLD stages of COPD, mainly in GOLD B and D stages. Higher CAT score was independently associated to mild-moderate/moderate ED. Most patients (85%) reported dyspnea during their sexual activity but 72% had never talked about it with their physician.


ED is highly prevalent among COPD patients and it is more severe in patients with higher CAT scores. Dyspnea affects their sexual activity but this is not a topic often discussed between patients and doctors, something which needs to be improved.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Erectile dysfunction, Sexual activity
Rev Port Pneumol 2017;23:259-65 - Vol. 23 Num.5 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.04.005