Additionally, most men were unaware that erection problems could be a warning sign that they may have a more serious condition; less than a fifth of all the men surveyed knew that ED could be a sign of underlying, organic heart disease or other potentially serious conditions, despite evidence of such a link in 80% of cases (in men of 70). In fact, three times as many survey respondents in their 40s rated hair loss ahead of losing their erections as a major health concern.1
Further, the survey shows that less than one fifth of men have visited their GP in the last 12 months, and that men in their 40s are likely to put off visits to their GP until they consider their symptoms to be long-term or worsening. But these men can be optimistic about finding a solution; 95% of ED cases can now be treated by the healthcare professional once reported.
The survey was commissioned as part of the new ED disease awareness campaign 40over40, from Lilly UK, which has been designed to educate men on the causes of ED and who it affects, and encourage them to seek help. The campaign will launch nationwide on 30 June 2008, when a new website http://www.40over40.com will go live, accompanied by the roll-out of a national TV advertising campaign.
The strapline from the campaign is Talk, Test, Treat, Today (4T), and visitors to the website will be able to download information and advice about ED.
Dr Mark Porter believes GPs should get behind the campaign. "The survey results are interesting because they show us that a significant number of younger men are compromising their sex lives unnecessarily - and may even be endangering their long term health. Sexual fulfilment aside, too few men are aware that their erectile difficulties could be a sign of underlying health problems like smoking related damage, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels. I'm hopeful that the 40over40 campaign will really start to tackle some of the misconceptions surrounding ED encouraging more patients to come through the door sooner. As GPs we need to throw our weight behind the campaign and look for ways to proactively ask about ED in our male, 40 plus patients."
Campaign resources include educational literature for patients and HCPs which will be available on http://www.40over40.com website and via Lilly UK as sponsors of the campaign.
- The 40over40 campaign is sponsored by Lilly and was conducted by Opinion Health, and involved interviews with 1013 men aged 40+ and currently living in the UK.
- 71.7% claimed their sex life was sporadic, while 17.4% said their sex life was spontaneous.
- 45.2% stated that an active sex life was important to them, and 28.3% stated that it was very important to them.
- 11.3% aged 40-44 thought ED might affect them in the next 10 years compared to 32.0% aged 40-44 who thought hair loss might affect them in the next 10 years.1
- 16.4% believed underlying disease may be one of the main causes of ED while 26.2% said they didn't know the causes of ED.
- 15.3% of men in the survey have not visited their GP in the last 12 months5 and 45.8% of men in the survey said they are usually prompted to visit the GP when they experience prolonged or worsening symptoms.6
- 24.5% of men use the internet as their main source of information on health.
1. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q3 - What health issues do you think will concern you in the next 10 years?
2. Feldman HA et al, J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61
3 Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q14 - What do you understand is the main cause of ED?
4. Diabetes UK viewed 02 June 2008
5. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q6 - How often did you consult your doctor in the last 12 months?
6. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q7 - What usually prompts you to consult a doctor?
7. WGBH Educational Foundation 2006, Impotence: Causes and Treatments, viewed 02 June 2008 http://www.pbs.org.wgbh/nova/impotence/causes
8. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q11 - How would you describe your current sex life?
9. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q16 - How important is an active sex life to you?
10. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q14 - What do you understand is the main cause of ED?
11. Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q5 - What is your main source of information on health?