Penile curvature is much more prevalent among men than originally thought, suggesting that Peyronie’s disease is underdiagnosed, Australian researchers say.
Data from a population-based survery of 1782 Australian men, with a mean age of 55, found that 19% had penile curvature, which is more than double the previous estimate of 9%
The survey showed that the average age for the development of the condition was just over 42 years and that one in three men reported curvature equal to, or greater than, 30 degrees.
The psychosexual effects of penile curvature was also laid bare, with one in six men complaining of penile pain or discomfort when they had an erection and one in five men experiencing difficulty during penetrative intercourse.
The survey provides the first available population-based prevalence estimate for penile curvature, but the men were not asked whether they had been diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease.
The researchers, led by Brisbane urologist Associate Professor Eric Chung from the university of Queensland, said the incidence rate of Peyronie’s disease appeared to have risen in recent years “partly because more men are willing to come forward for treatment due to increasing awareness and less stigmatization”.
Given the high prevalence of penile curvature in this country, there is a need to raise awareness and implemented effective screening and treatment strategies,” the authors wrote.
Other findings included:
- 26% of men who had a curvature were bothered by the appearance of their penis;
- 28% reported a negative emotional impact, most commonly to self confidence and self-esteem; and
- 19% of men in a relationship were worried by penile discomfort with an erection, compared with 8% of single men.
The study was conducted with the support of a grant from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Australia, the supplier of a Peyronie’s disease treament.