EFFECT OF HIGH ALTITUDE ON ERECTILE FUNCTION IN OTHERWISE HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS
Erectile Function at High Altitude
Objective: To determine the effect of high altitude on Erectile function in otherwise healthy individuals and associated socio demographic factors.
Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: January 2014 to March 2014 at Goma, Siachin.
Material and Methods: One hundred & twenty two married male subjects living at an altitude of more than 15000 feet for more than 3 month and less than one year were included in the study. Erectile dysfunction (ED) was assessed using International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5). Age, education, smoking, monthly income, any drug intake, altitude, duration of stay and weather conditions were correlated independently with ED.
Results: Out of 122, 26 (21.3%) had no ED, 18 had mild, 28 (14.8%) had mild to moderate, 36(29.5%) had moderate and 14 (11.5%) had severe ED. Advancing age, low monthly income, smoking, high altitude, cold weather and longer duration of stay had significant association with ED (p-value<0.05) while education and use of any drug were not found significantly associated in our study.
Conclusion: This study showed a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction among otherwise healthy individuals when exposed to high altitude. Special attention should be paid on individuals with more age, less income and those working or residing at higher altitudes in peak winter season. Smoking and stay for longer durations should also be discouraged.