Even though a growing number of studies have found that patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) suffer from sexual problems, only very few studies have specifically addressed the relationship between AS and ED. Using a population-based data set, this case-control study aimed to examine the association of ED with a prior diagnosis of AS in Taiwan. We selected 2213 ED patients ≥40 years old and 17,704 matched controls. We considered the date of the first diagnosis of ED as the index date for cases. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) for the association between previously diagnosed AS and ED. A total of 224 out of the 19,917 sampled subjects (1.1%) had been diagnosed with AS before the index date. Prior AS was found in 42 (1.9%) cases and 182 (1.0%) controls. After adjusting for geographic location, urbanization level, hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, hyperlipidemia, obesity, depressive disorder and alcohol abuse/alcohol-dependence syndrome, multivariate logistic regression revealed that cases were more likely to have been previously diagnosed with AS than controls (OR=1.58, 95% CI=1.09-2.19, P=0.019). There was an association between ED and AS. We suggest that physicians should be attentive to sexual complaints from AS patients in order to refer them to other specialists for multidisciplinary management.
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