Correlates of chronic disease and patient-provider discussions among middle-aged and older adult males: Implications for successful aging and sexuality.
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OBJECTIVE: Effective erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes risk assessments are available, but require patient-provider communication. The present study explored this issue using 2010 National Social Life, Health and Aging Project data for males age 57 years and older (n = 1011). METHODS: Multinomial logistic regression was performed to compare factors associated with being without CVD/diabetes (39.9%), being diagnosed with CVD only (43.1%), and having comorbid CVD/diabetes (CVD 17.0%). Logistic regression compared factors associated with having ever discussed sexual issues with physicians. RESULTS: CVD-only participants were more likely to be 75 years (p = 0.004) and smoke (p = 0.019); CVD&D participants were more likely to report activity limitations (p < 0.001) and less likely to have sex within the previous year (p = 0.014). Compared to CVD-only, men with CVD&D were more likely to be minorities, obese, have daily activity limitations, and report erectile difficulties (all p < 0.05). Males discussing sexual issues with physicians were more likely to report higher education [OR = 1.68, p = 0.001], have sex in previous year [OR = 1.73, p = 0.006], and have erectile difficulties [OR = 2.26, p < 0.001]. DISCUSSION: Increased patient and provider awareness and communication are needed to lifestyle behaviors, promote self-care practices, and improve health care utilization among male patients affected by chronic disease and ED.