Who is affected by erection problems

It is difficult to estimate the number of men who have erection problems (erectile dysfunction). About 150 million men worldwide are unable to have an erection satisfactory for intercourse.1

Erection problems can occur at any age. Occasional episodes are considered normal.

Your risk of developing an erection problem increases with age.1, 2

  • About half of the men between ages 40 and 70 report erection problems.
  • More than 15 out of 100 men in their 40s report having a moderate erection problem. But twice as many (about 30 out of 100) men in their 70s say they have a moderate erection problem.
  • While only about 5 out of 100 men in their 40s say their erection problems are severe, three times as many (15 out of 100) men in their 70s report severe problems.


  1. Tharyan P, Gopalakrishanan G (2006). Erectile dysfunction, search date August 2006. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  2. Bella AJ, Lue TF (2008). Male sexual dysfunction. In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 589–610. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Last Updated: May 21, 2008

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