BEIJING - The overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction among Chinese men is more than 26 percent, according to a study by researchers with the Chinese Medical Association.
Among men over 40, at least 40 percent experience male impotence, a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance, said Wang Xiaofeng, director of the urology surgery department with Peking University People's Hospital.
He made the remarks while making a report during the Fifth China Andrology Forum in Beijing over the weekend, according to a report from the China News Service.
In comparison, United States' researchers in 2007 reported that the overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction among US men was 18.4 percent, according to US media HealthDay news.
Wang said that about 83 percent of the sufferers in China "never sought medical treatment for the disease."
Poor public awareness and the underlying social stigma related to the disease are mainly to be blamed for that, he said.
The released figures are based on surveys on erectile dysfunction carried out in 11 cities.
Men who reported being sometimes able or never able to get and keep an erection in the past three months were defined as suffering erectile dysfunction, Wang said.
For the majority of sufferers the cause was psychological, only 7.2 percent was caused by physical conditions. Some 30 percent suffered from both mental and physical causes, he said.
Many men with erectile dysfunction had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, poor cholesterol levels or a habitual smoker. Most sufferers also didn't partake in any vigorous physical exercise, Wang said.
The findings showed that lifestyle changes like more exercises and measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, would help prevent erectile function. Wang urged people experiencing the problem to seek medical help as soon as possible.
A high-quality sex life is an indispensable part of a happy life and an increasing number of Chinese are starting to recognize that, he said.
In December, a Chinese man suffering from erectile dysfunction for a long time killed his wife after she had teased him for being unable to make love to her, reported Yangcheng Evening News of southern Guangzhou city.
In a 2009 survey on people's sex life satisfaction, China ranked the 11th among 13 Asian countries.