Purpose: To date, the occurrence of erectile dysfunction (ED) associating with herpes zoster (HZ) is only based on limited case reports. This case-control study aimed at examining the association between HZ and ED using a population-based dataset in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 6429 adults newly diagnosed with ED were identified as cases, and 38,574 subjects without any medical history of ED were extracted as controls. Conditional logistic regression models were performed. Results: In total, 1.03% out of the sampled subjects had been diagnosed with HZ within one year prior to the index date; a higher proportion of prior HZ was found among cases than controls (2.04% vs. 0.86%, p < 0.001). After adjusting for demographic characteristics, hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and alcohol abuse/alcohol dependence syndrome, conditional logistic regression suggested that cases were more likely to have previously been diagnosed with HZ than controls (OR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.82-2.75). Furthermore, the odds of having been diagnosed with an HZ infection within one year prior to the index date were dramatically higher among patients with ED than controls among subjects aged 18-29 (OR = 6.07). Conclusions: We conclude that ED was associated with having been previously diagnosed with HZ, particularly among younger males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Herpes zoster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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