Sex is a natural and basic drive of human beings. In Malaysia, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem, affecting 16 to 47% of men above 40 years old. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common complication of diabetics, with prevalence ranging between 27 and 75%. Knowledge and perception are essential precursors of ED related quality of life. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, to produce the preliminary information to compare the knowledge and the perception of diabetic and non diabetic population towards sexual activity and the effect of ED on quality of life. Population based survey includes the entire male respondent in the community with age of 18 years and above. Investigator personally approached the respondents and asked them to complete self administered and anonymous pre-validated questionnaire. Statistical package for social sciences (version 15®) was used to analyze the data by adopting chi-square, univariate and multivariate analysis, ANOVA, T-test techniques, respectively. Data was collected from 1700 males aged between 20 years and above with response rate of 88.35%. The mean total knowledge score obtained by diabetics was significantly (p<0.001) higher (63.7% of the maximum possible total knowledge score) than non-diabetics score (53.8 %). Diabetics scored significantly (p=0.021) lower, regarding perception towards sexual activity (65.1%) than non diabetics (70%), also, diabetics scored non significantly higher scores regarding perception towards effect of ED on quality of life (61.3%) compared with non diabetics (59.7%). Mean score of total knowledge of non-diabetics was 10.23 ± 4.73 (that is, 53.8%) with maximum possible score of 19, while mean score of total perception of non-diabetics was 34.08 ± 5.51 (that is, 63.1%) with maximum possible score of 54. There was significant association between diabetics using medicine for ED (p<0.001). Viagra®(Seldenafil) was the most commonly used medicine between diabetics and non diabetics. It was concluded that although diabetics patients are more knowledgeable regarding ED, they have lower perception towards sexual activity and less satisfaction with their sexual life. Their perception regarding the effect of ED on their quality of life is more than that of non-diabetics.
Key words: Diabetics mellitus, perception and quality of life, erectile dysfunction, erectile and diabetics, diabetics and quality of life, erectile dysfunction treatment.
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