Survey to shed light on impotence

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The Independent Online
More than 5,000 impotent men and their partners are to be questioned about their problem in the biggest survey of its kind ever undertaken in Britain. The aim is to find out how much help is currently given to the one in 10 men who suffer from the problem.

Although impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is treatable in 95 per cent of cases, only 5 per cent of sufferers actively seek help, usually because of embarrassment or ignorance. Dr Alan Riley, chairman of the association, said: "This [survey] will help us evaluate current services, and highlight areas for improvement, with a view to encouraging more people to come forward and seek help." Heavy smoking and alcohol consumption are both associated with impotence, which can be caused by a range of physical conditions, such as narrowing of the arteries or diabetes, as well as by psychological problems.