A new survey of 1,000 men aged over 40, commissioned by Eli Lilly and Company Limited (Lilly UK) as part of a new erectile dysfunction awareness campaign, 40over40, suggests a serious disconnect between men's health expectations and reality for men.
Just over 10% of men in their early to mid 40s were aware that they may experience erection problems in their next decade[i], even though evidence suggests that erection problems affect 40% of men over the age of 40[ii]. Additionally, most men were unaware that ED may be a warning sign that they could have a serious underlying illness[iii], even though 80% of men with ED over 70 have heart disease, diabetes or other underlying conditions[iv]. More than double the number of people who felt ED might concern them in their next decade were worried about heart disease being a concern[i], indicating that they do not realise that ED could be an indicator of heart problems. In fact, three times as many survey respondents in their 40s rated hair loss ahead of losing their erections as a major health concern[i].
The 40over40 campaign, from Lilly UK, is designed to highlight that ED is common in early middle age as well as in older men, and to inform men about the potential dangers of ignoring ED. The campaign also aims to show men they can be optimistic about finding a solution - as 95% of men with ED are now treated successfully[v].
The centerpiece of the 40over40 campaign is the new www.40over40.com website that provides information for men, and their partners, about ED, how and when it strikes, the number of men affected, the causes and potential treatments. It also gives advice on starting a conversation with their GP and what to expect during a consultation. The launch of the website will be accompanied by a TV advertising campaign that will run from 30 June 2008.
The survey also throws new light on sexuality in middle age - revealing that nearly three quarters of men aged 40 or older have only a 'sporadic' sex life[vi], with just 17 in 100 enjoying a spontaneous sex life with their partners[vi], despite 70% of men claiming that an active sex life is important to them[vii].
Dr Mark Porter believes the survey results point to a widespread problem: "Men in their 40s who are having erection problems often think, wrongly, that they are the only one in their peer group that is affected, and that just knocks their confidence further. In truth, they are far from alone - erectile dysfunction is surprisingly common in the over 40's. Fortunately it is a relatively easy condition to treat - most men can be helped - but only if they come forward and ask for that help. It's also clear that the majority of men remain unaware that there is an important link between ED and other serious health conditions - namely that it could be the only sign of premature furring up of the circulation caused by underlying problems like high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels - which is why ED should prompt a visit to the GP. The message is clear Talk, Test, Treat, Today."
Notes to Editors:
· The 40over40 campaign is sponsored by Lilly UK and was conducted by Opinion Health, and involved interviews with 1013 men aged 40+ and currently living in the UK.
· 71.7% claimed their sex life was sporadic, while 17.4% said their sex life was spontaneous.[vi]
· The survey showed that men remain reluctant to visit their GP with health problems. Although less than one fifth of men surveyed said they have not visited their GP in the last 12 months[viii], almost half of those say they delay the appointment until symptoms are classed as long-term or worsening[ix]. A quarter of men prefer to access information from the internet[x].
· 45.2% stated that an active sex life was important to them, and 28.3% stated that it was very important to them.[vii]
· 11.3% aged 40-44 thought ED might affect them in the next 10 years compared to 32.0% aged 40-44 who thought hair loss might affect them in the next 10 years. [i]
· 16.4% believed underlying disease may be one of the main causes of ED while 26.2% said they didn't know the causes of ED.[iii]
· 15.3% of men in the survey have not visited their GP in the last 12 months[viii] and 45.8% of men in the survey said they are usually prompted to visit the GP when they experience prolonged or worsening symptoms.[ix]
· 24.5% of men use the internet as their main source of information on health.[x]
For further information, contact Daniel Burges or Louise Veale at
Munro & Forster Communications
[i] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q3 - What health issues do you think will concern you in the next 10 years?
[ii] Feldman HA et al, J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61
[iii] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q14 - What do you understand is the main cause of ED?
[iv] Diabetes UK http://www.diabetes.org.uk/en/Guide-to-diabetes/Living_with_... viewed 02 June 2008
[v] WGBH Educational Foundation 2006, Impotence: Causes and Treatments, viewed 02 June 2008. http://www.jcn.co.uk/journal.asp?MonthNum=10&YearNum=1999&Ty....
[vi] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q11 - How would you describe your current sex life?
[vii] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q16 - How important is an active sex life to you?
[viii] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q6 - How often did you consult your GP in the last 12 months?
[ix] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q7 - What usually prompts you to consult a doctor?
[x] Lilly UK: 4T Survey of 1,000 men aged over 40 Q5 - What is your main source of information on health?
Prepared June 2008, CI1527
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