(HealthDay News) – Only about a quarter of men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED) receive treatment, despite the availability and heavy media promotion of treatments, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 4–8 in San Diego.

Omer Cakir, MD, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,228,509 men diagnosed with ED over a 12-month period to assess the frequency of medical therapies and associated comorbidities.

The researchers found that only 25.4% of men were treated (filled an appropriate prescription) and 74.6% were untreated (did not fill a prescription). Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors were prescribed in 75.2% of cases, androgen replacement in 30.6% of cases, and urethral prostaglandins in <2% of cases. Men with comorbid hypogonadism received treatment in 51% of cases, while men with comorbid prostate cancer received treatment in only 15% of cases.

“Despite ED treatments being available to men for nearly 15 years as well as heavily promoted in mainstream media, one wonders why they are not seeking care known to improve their quality of life,” Ajay Nangia, MD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansa City, said in a statement. “We need to have a better understanding of where the disconnect between diagnosis and treatment occurs.”

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