Sexual problems as a result of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) play an important role in patients' worries and concerns.
Dr Antje Timmer and colleagues from Germany evaluated sexual function in men and women with IBD relative to healthy controls.
The research team surveyed a random sample of 1000 national patients organization.
Age- and sex-matched friends were used as controls.
| High socioeconomic status was a protective factor|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
In addition, the team selected controls from a large health insurance cohort.
Sexual function was evaluated using the Erectile Index of Erectile Function, and the Brief Index of Sexual Function in Women.
The researchers defined impaired function as a score less than 1 on a z-normalized scale.
The results are reported as age-adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals based on conditional logistic regression.
The researchers found that the response rate was 41% in cases.
Overall, 153 male and 181 female matched pairs were available for analysis.
The team noted that the proportion of patients who were married, had a partner, and were sexually active were similar between cases and controls.
Depression was the most important determinant of impaired sexual function.
The team observed that men with IBD in remission or mild activity had similar Erectile Index of Erectile Function scores as compared with controls.
Comorbidity and antihypertensive therapy impacted on single subscores.
Women with IBD showed impaired function irrespective of disease activity as compared with healthy controls.
The researchers found that results in women varied by type of control.
The research team noted that high socioeconomic status was a protective factor for several subscores in women.
Dr Timmer's team concludes, “Depression is the most important determinant of low sexual function.”