CV Autonomic Neuropathy May Predict Sexual Dysfunction, Incontinence in Diabetes

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Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy may predict sexual dysfunction and incontinence in women with diabetes.
Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy may predict sexual dysfunction and incontinence in women with diabetes.

(HealthDay News) — Among women with type 1 diabetes there are increased odds of female sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence associated with specific measures of cardiovascular (CV) autonomic neuropathy, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

In an effort to assess associations between CV autonomic neuropathy and female sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence, James M. Hotaling, MD, from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues evaluated 580 women with type 1 diabetes in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study (DCCT/EDIC).

The researchers found that at EDIC year 17, female sexual dysfunction was seen in 41% of women and urinary incontinence was seen in 30%. There were no statistically significant associations between measures of CV autonomic neuropathy at DCCT closeout and subsequent report of female sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence. 

There was a 53% increase in the odds of having urinary incontinence with a Valsalva ratio at least 1.5 at EDIC year 16/17. A 5-unit increase in R-R variation was associated with greater odds of having female sexual dysfunction at both EDIC year 13/14 and EDIC year 16/17 (adjusted odds ratio for both, 1.11).

"In long-standing type 1 diabetes, CV autonomic neuropathy may predict development of female sexual dysfunction and may be a useful surrogate for generalized diabetic autonomic neuropathy," the researchers wrote.

Disclosures: Pharmaceutical and medical device companies provided free or discounted supplies or equipment to support participants' adherence to the DCCT/EDIC study. 

Reference

  1. Hotaling JM, Sarma AV, Patel DP, et al; for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Research Group. Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy, Sexual Dysfunction, and Urinary Incontinence in Women With Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016. doi:10.2337/dc16-0059.
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