Socioeconomic Disparities and Risk Factors in Patients Presenting With Ischemic Priapism: A Multi-Institutional Study



      To evaluate contemporary clinical presentations of priapism, their association with socioeconomic characteristics, and the role of prescribing providers in priapism episodes in a large cohort of patients managed at 3 major academic health systems.


      We identified all consecutive patients presenting with ischemic priapism to the emergency departments of three major academic health systems (2014 –2019). Demographic characteristics, priapism etiologies, and clinical management were evaluated. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to assess the contribution of socioeconomic characteristics and the role of prescribing providers in priapism episodes.


      We identified 102 individuals with a total of 181 priapism encounters. Hispanic race, lower income quartile, sickle-cell disease, and illicit drug use were associated with increased risk of recurrent episodes. Of ICI users, 57% received their prescriptions from non-urological medical professionals (NUMPs); the proportion with recurrent episodes was higher for NUMPs compared to urologists (24% vs 0%, P = 0.06) with no demographic differences identified between patients treated by either group.


      Socioeconomic disparities exist among patients presenting with recurrent episodes of priapism, potentially highlighting systemic issues with access to care and patient education. With most patients who developed ischemic priapism from ICI being prescribed these medications by NUMPs, further investigation is required to elucidate the prescribing and counseling patterns of these providers. Increased awareness of disparities and complications may improve patient safety.
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