The relationships between sex hormones and sexual function in middle-aged and older European men

O'Connor, D.B. et al. (2011) The relationships between sex hormones and sexual function in middle-aged and older European men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 96(10), e1577-e1587. (doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2216)

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<p><b>Context:</b> Limited data are available exploring the associations between sex hormones, multiple domains of sexual functioning, and sexual function-related distress in nonpatient samples in Europe.</p> <p><b>Objectives:</b> The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between serum testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and sexual function in a multicenter population-based study of aging in men.</p> <p><b>Design:</b> Using stratified random sampling, 2838 men aged 40-79 yr completed the European Male Ageing Study-Sexual Function Questionnaire and provided a blood sample for hormone measurements. T, E2, and DHT were measured using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.</p> <p><b>Setting:</b> We conducted a community-based population survey in eight European centers.</p> <p><b>Main Outcome Measures:</b> Self-reported sexual function (overall sexual function, sexual function-related distress, erectile dysfunction, masturbation) was measured.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> Total and free T, but not E2 or DHT, was associated with overall sexual function in middle-aged and older men. E2 was the only hormone associated with sexual function-related distress such that higher levels were related to greater distress. Free T levels were associated with masturbation frequency and erectile dysfunction in the fully adjusted models, such that higher T was associated with less dysfunction and greater frequency. Moreover, there was a T threshold for the relationship between total T, sexual function, and erectile dysfunction. At T concentrations of 8 nmol/liter or less, T was associated with worse sexual functioning, whereas at T levels over 8 nmol/liter, the relationship came to a plateau.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> These findings suggest that different hormonal mechanisms may regulate sexual functioning (T) vs. the psychological aspects (E2) of male sexual behavior. Moreover, there was a T threshold for overall sexual function such that at levels greater than 8 nmol/liter the relationship between T and sexual function did not become stronger.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lean, Professor Michael
Authors: O'Connor, D.B., Lee, D.M., Corona, G., Forti, G., Tajar, A., O'Neill, T.W., Pendleton, N., Bartfai, G., Boonen, S., Casanueva, F.F., Finn, J.D., Giwercman, A., Han, T.S., Huhtaniemi, I.T., Kula, K., Labrie, F., Lean, M.E.J., Punab, M., Silman, A.J., Vanderschueren, D., and Wu, F.C.W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
ISSN (Online):1945-7197
Published Online:17 August 2011

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