Low Prolactin Is Associated with Sexual Dysfunction and Psychological or Metabolic Disturbances in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men: The European Male Aging Study (EMAS)

Giovanni Corona, Frederick C. Wu, Giulia Rastrelli, David M. Lee, Gianni Forti, Daryl B. O'Connor, Terence W. O'Neill, Neil Pendleton, Gyorgy Bartfai, Steven Boonen, Felipe F. Casanueva, Joseph D. Finn, Ilpo T. Huhtaniemi, Krzysztof Kula, Margus Punab, Dirk Vanderschueren, Martin K. Rutter, Mario Maggi

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Abstract

Introduction: We previously reported that in male patients consulting for sexual dysfunction, low prolactin (PRL) levels were associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS), arteriogenic erectile dysfunction, and incident major cardiovascular events. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the clinical associations of PRL levels in the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS). Methods: EMAS is a prospective, observational cohort of community-dwelling men aged 40-79 years old (mean age 60±11 years old). PRL was available for 2,948 men. Main Outcome Measures: Different parameters were evaluated including the Short Form-36 questionnaire, Becks Depression Inventory, the Adverse Life Events Scale, the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, and the EMAS sexual function questionnaire (EMAS-SFQ). Results: After the adjustment for confounders, PRL levels were inversely related with worsening of sexual function as compared with the previous year, as derived from change in sexual functioning domain of the EMAS-SFQ (adj. r=-0.043; P=0.029). The strongest correlation (Wald=6.840; P=0.009) was observed between lower PRL levels and reduced enjoyment of orgasmic experiences. Furthermore, an inverse relationship between PRL levels and stressful life events or depressive symptoms was observed. Low PRL was also negatively associated with an unhealthy metabolic phenotype as well as with the MetS (Wald=5.229; P=0.022). In line with these data, low PRL was associated with a lower level of physical activity and feeling unhealthier. Conclusions: Low PRL is related to several metabolic, psychological, and sexual unhealthy characteristics in European men. Checking PRL might be useful to stratify men for cardiovascular risk and to encourage appropriate lifestyle changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-253
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - jan. 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Urology

Cite this

Corona, G., Wu, F. C., Rastrelli, G., Lee, D. M., Forti, G., O'Connor, D. B., O'Neill, T. W., Pendleton, N., Bartfai, G., Boonen, S., Casanueva, F. F., Finn, J. D., Huhtaniemi, I. T., Kula, K., Punab, M., Vanderschueren, D., Rutter, M. K., & Maggi, M. (2014). Low Prolactin Is Associated with Sexual Dysfunction and Psychological or Metabolic Disturbances in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men: The European Male Aging Study (EMAS). Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11(1), 240-253. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12327