, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 831–838 | Cite as

Hypovitaminosis D is associated with erectile dysfunction in type 2 diabetes

  • Nicola CarettaEmail author
  • Saula Vigili de Kreutzenberg
  • Umberto Valente
  • Gabriella Guarneri
  • Alberto Ferlin
  • Angelo Avogaro
  • Carlo Foresta
Original Article


Diabetes is an established risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). The pathophysiology of ED in diabetic men is multifactorial, but it mainly involves a vascular disorder related to a reduction of endothelial function. Recently, several studies have correlated ED risk factors with vitamin D deficiency. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels, erectile dysfunction, and vascular disease, in type 2 diabetes mellitus men (T2DM). In this observational study, 92 T2DM males (58.83 ± 9.73 years) underwent medical history collection, International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire, that allows the identification and grading of DE, physical examination, biochemical/hormonal blood tests, and penile echo-color Doppler ultrasonography. T2DM patients with lower 25(OH)D levels (<25 nmol/l) showed higher penile IMT (p < 0.05), waist circonference (p < 0.05), glucose concentrations (p < 0.05), and lower IIEF-5 score (p < 0.005), testosterone concentrations (p < 0.05), and cavernous peak systolic velocity (PSV) (p < 0.05), compared to patients with 25(OH)D >50 nmol/l. 25(OH)D levels were directly correlated with IIEF-5 (R = 0.39; p = 0.0001), testosterone (R = 0.24; p = 0.02), and PSV (R = 0.24; p = 0.04) and inversely with waist (R = −0.33; p = 0.002), HbA1c (R = −0.22; p = 0.03), triglyceride (R = −0.21; p = 0.06), and penile IMT (R = −0.30; p = 0.009). At multivariate analysis, 25(OH)D deficiency remained an independent predictor of DE. We demonstrate a significant association between 25(OH)D deficiency and erectile dysfunction in T2DM men. This association may be due to the influence of 25(OH)D deficiency on cardiovascular risk factor (glycaemia, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides), testosterone plasma levels and endothelial dysfunction.


Vitamin D Diabetes Erectile dysfunction Endothelial function Testosterone 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Caretta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saula Vigili de Kreutzenberg
    • 2
  • Umberto Valente
    • 1
  • Gabriella Guarneri
    • 2
  • Alberto Ferlin
    • 1
  • Angelo Avogaro
    • 2
  • Carlo Foresta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology and Centre for Human Reproduction PathologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Section of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Department of MedicineUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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