28 Jul 2004 - Let's talk about sex…
Not intended for US media
Let's talk about sex...all in the name of science. Australian actor Gary Sweet is encouraging men and their partners to participate in an Australian health study.
Aussie men and their partners are being encouraged to 'tell all' about their sex lives as part of a ground-breaking national study of men's sexual health by Melbourne's Deakin University.
Although the study will cover all issues such as sexual and relationship satisfaction, self-esteem and masculinity, the main focus will be on erection problems. According to Australian actor Gary Sweet who is helping to raise awareness, erection problems affect over 1.5 million Australian men1* and may be a sign of more serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure2.
"Unfortunately erection problems are still a taboo subject however through this national study we can learn more about this common yet under-recognised3 condition and hopefully get men, doctors and partners talking," said Gary Sweet.
"Men are being encouraged to stop and think about their health and if they are experiencing erection problems they should go and see their doctor. An easy way for men to start up a conversation with their doctor is to ask for a Performance Pack which contains facts about erection problems and the treatments available."
Key goals of the new study are to find out how doctors can better diagnose and manage erection problems and to determine what factors are important to help men and their partners have a satisfying sex life, said Dr Marita McCabe, principal researcher and Professor of Psychology at Deakin University.
"We know from previous research that many men either don't ask their doctor for help at all, or don't continue with prescribed treatment if they receive it", said Dr McCabe1,3,4.
"Our study will look at men's experiences with various treatments, and the obstacles they find in seeking and staying on treatment. In particular, we want to discover why four in ten men with ED fail to seek professional help and why some don't continue treatment once they have started4. This knowledge will be invaluable in developing strategies to help men deal effectively with this problem."
Dr McCabe's research will build on the recently published and largest international study of its kind, MALES (Men's Attitudes to Life Events and Sexuality), which found 58% of men who self-reported ED asked their doctor for help. Of those who did, half received a prescription and only 16 percent continued to take their prescribed medication4.
While the MALES study highlighted there is a steep decline from men seeking treatment, to starting treatment, to continuing treatment,4 Dr McCabe said the availability of new treatments since the study was conducted in 2001 will now provide men with ED with a wider treatment choice.
"A man's response to treatment can be very individual, so a range of treatment choices is important," said Dr McCabe.
Like their overseas counterparts, Australian men also want to be able to 'have sex whenever they want to'. Dr McCabe said that for men suffering from erection problems it is important the treatment works quickly and effectively.
The MALES study highlights there is an unmet need in the diagnosis and management of erection problems, said Dr McCabe.
"The MALES findings raise important questions about the barriers men face in getting medical help for erectile dysfunction, and the impact the condition has on their lives and their partner's lives," said Dr McCabe.
"Hopefully our study will shed some light on how we can improve the way erectile dysfunction is considered and treated in Australia," said Dr McCabe.
"The bottom line is that satisfying sexual experiences are important to the quality of life of men and their partners; erectile dysfunction can destroy relationships and ruin lives. We need to get men talking to their doctors, and ensure that doctors are listening and taking action". Dr McCabe said.
The Australian Sexual Health study is being conducted through an anonymous questionnaire available online at www.deakin.edu.au/~hamatic/ and via Impotence Australia at www.impotenceaustralia.com.au. Men can also leave a message on 03 9244 6699 to have a questionnaire posted to them.
For more information about erection problems see you doctor
*Based on US data and Australian demographic data
For further information contact:
Cox Inall Communications
02 8204 3853
Notes to Editor
The MALES study was a large multi-national, two-phased investigation conducted in the USA, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain. The research was funded by Bayer. Phase l consisted of 27,839 men, aged 20-75 years. Phase ll involved 2,912 men identified from the sub-sample of Phase l MALES participants who reported ED, and from additional recruitment techniques, including doctors' referrals.
1. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychological correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol 1994;151:54-61.
2. Levine LA, Kloner RA. Importance of asking questions about erectile dysfunction. The American Journal of Cardiology 2000;86:1210-1213.
3. Nehra A, Kulaksizoglu H. Global perspectives and controversies in the epidemiology of male erectile dysfunction. Curr Opin Urol. 202;12:493-496.
4. Rosen RC, Fisher W, Eardley I, Niederberger C, Nadal A and Sand M. The multinational men's attitudes to life events and sexuality (MALES) study: I. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction and related health concerns in the general population. Curr Med Res Opin 2004;20(5):607-617.
This media release is issued on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
GlaxoSmithKline - One of the worlds leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Bayer HealthCare is an integral arm of Bayer, the international, research-based group. Bayer HealthCare combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Biological Products, Consumer Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Providing innovative diagnostic systems, modern prescription pharmaceuticals, world-renowned over-the-counter drugs and animal health products, Bayer HealthCare is enhancing wellbeing and quality of life for all Australians.