AIM: To review the existing literature to definitively examine sexual dysfunction in women with hypertension, in both treated and untreated subjects.
METHODS: We performed a systematic search for published literature of 3 electronic databases (Scopus, EBSCOhost Medline Complete, and Cochrane Library) in August 2018. The search terms with relevant truncation and Boolean were developed according to a population exposure-comparator-outcome model combining pilot searches. The quality of included studies was assessed with the McMaster Critical Review Form for Quantitative Studies. Initial search, limited to the English language, included a total of 2,198 studies. 31 studies (18,260 subjects) met our inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Sexual dysfunction in these studies was measured using different tools. We extracted information of study setting, country, number of subjects, participants' age and blood pressure, comparators, and outcome. We ran a meta-analysis on the presence of sexual dysfunction as an outcome from the following comparisons: (i) hypertensive vs normotensive (ii) treated vs untreated hypertension, and (iii) exposure vs absence of specific class of anti-hypertensive drug.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women with sexual dysfunction and hypertension were included.
RESULTS: We found significant sexual dysfunction in women with hypertension compared with the normotensive group (pooled odds ratio [OR] = 2.789, 95% CI = 1.452-5.357, P = .002). However, there was no statistical difference of sexual dysfunction in women with treated or untreated hypertension (OR = 1.229, 95% CI = 0.675-2.236, P = .5). Treatment with alpha-/beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics resulted in no statistical difference in sexual dysfunction in hypertensive women.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Because sexual dysfunction is prevalent in women with hypertension, it is imperative to address the underlying medical condition to manage this important clinical problem.
STRENGTH & LIMITATIONS: Many studies had to be excluded from the meta-analysis, due to unavailability and incompleteness of data. Nevertheless, results of the review are useful to derive recommendations for alerting physicians of the need to routinely assess the sexual functioning of women with hypertension.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that women with hypertension are at increased risk for sexual dysfunction, and our findings imply that evaluation for sexual dysfunction needs to be part of the clinical management guidelines for women with hypertension. Choy CL, Sidi H, Koon CS, et al. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for Sexual Dysfunction in Women With Hypertension. J Sex Med 2019;16:1029-1048.