sexual dysfunction; Latino Sexual Health; Low Sexual Desire; Diabetes Complications


Public Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Latinos are the largest minority population in the United States and are diagnosed with diabetes at nearly twice the rate of non-Hispanic whites. Latinos not only suffer disproportionately from diabetes but also from diabetes related complications, including sexual dysfunction. Much of the existing literature on sexual dysfunction among Latinos with diabetes has focused on erectile dysfunction (ED). There is a dearth of information on sexual functioning among Latina women with diabetes or information on both genders in other sexual domains. Our study examined the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among a cohort of 106 poorly controlled Latino diabetics in South Florida who participated in the Miami Healthy Heart Initiative, an NIH/NLBI sponsored clinical trial addressing diabetes management among Latinos. We explored gender differences in various domains of sexual health and examined the role of poor glycemic control and depression on sexual dysfunction. A large proportion of both genders in our sample met the criteria for sexual dysfunction though females exhibited a greater prevalence than males. Depression affected more than one third of our sample, but we did not find any significant associations between sexual dysfunction and depression. We also did not find a linear correlation between glycemic control and sexual dysfunction. We concluded that interventions are needed to address high rates of sexual dysfunction among Latinos with diabetes with particular emphasis on Latina women, who were much more likely than men to report problems with desire and other areas of sexual functioning. Until effective pharmacologic agents to improve desire among women with diabetes become available, clinicians caring for this population should consider behavioral approaches that may limit the impact of sexual dysfunction.