Peyronie's Disease Facts and Statistics: What You Need to Know

It is more common than you think

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 1 of every 100 people with penises in the United States is diagnosed with Peyronie's disease (PD), a condition in which scar tissue on the penis can cause it to bend abnormally.

Recent research suggests that the actual rate may be closer to 1 in 10 given that many don't seek diagnosis or treatment for PD, often because symptoms are mild and don't interfere with sexual function.

PD is not a life-threatening or even "serious" medical condition but one that can lead to depression and relationship problems in around 50% of cases. Moreover, 32% report significant erectile dysfunction (the ability to achieve or sustain an erection).

This article provides facts and statistics about Peyronie's disease, including who is most likely to be affected and PD's impact on a person's life.

Healthcare provider discusses Peyronie's disease with the person seeking care

Morsa Images / Getty Images

Peyronie's Disease Overview

Peyronie's disease is a benign (non-cancerous) condition that is thought to be caused by repeated mild sexual trauma or a prior injury to the penis during vigorous intercourse or masturbation. Genetics is also believed to play a part.

The trauma can cause painless scar tissues (called plaques) on the tunica albuginea, the thick sheath surrounding the inner core of the penis. Over time, the plaques can cause "weak spots" that undermine the stability of an erection, eventually—and sometimes suddenly—leading to an abnormal curve.

Penile Curvature

Although a certain degree of curvature is normal with an erect penis, PD causes a sudden and abnormal bend, often upward but sometimes downward or to the side.

Depending on the severity of PD, other symptoms may include:

Psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and relationship problems, are also common with PD.

How Common Is Peyronie's Disease?

Peyronie's disease is more common than many people think.

While only around 1 of every 100 people with penises seek a diagnosis for PD, a population-based study published in PLoS One suggests that as many as 11 in 100 have PD symptoms. That translates to roughly 1 of every 9 people with penises in the United States aged 18 or over.

If these statistics hold true, this means that roughly 11 million people in the United States have some level of PD ranging from mild to severe.

Peyronie's Disease by Race/Ethnicity

Peyronie's disease can affect anyone with a penis. However, for reasons not entirely clear, White people appear far more vulnerable to PD than any other racial or ethnic group.

This may be explained in parts by healthcare disparities in the United States that generally afford White people greater access to medical diagnoses, leaving many people of other groups undiagnosed.

This is evidenced in part by research showing that people who earn $75,000 per year (who are more likely White) are 10 times more likely to seek a diagnosis for PD than those who earn under $25,000 (who are more likely to be Black or Latinx).

Race and Peyronie's Disease

A 2020 study in Sexual Medicine reported that White people with PD were nearly four times more likely to seek diagnosis and treatment than Black people with PD.

But, genetics may also account for the disparity. As a connective tissue disorder, PD is often seen in those who have other connective tissue diseases, like Dupuytren's contracture (which causes the deformity of the palm and fingers).

As with PD, Dupuytren's contracture (DC) tends to affect White people more than Black or Latinx people. Moreover, gene mutations associated with DC are common in people with PD, such as the HLA-DQw2 mutation that occurs in 58% of people with PD and DC.

Peyronie's Disease by Age

Peyronie's disease generally affects older people but can also occur in younger people, including teens and adolescents. The risk of PD increases after age 40, reaching a peak between 55 and 64.

Based on PD diagnoses alone, studies have historically shown a higher percentage of older people affected by PD than younger people:

  • Ages 30 to 39: 1.5% affected
  • Ages 40 to 59: 3.0% affected
  • Ages 60 to 69: 4.0% affected
  • Over age 70: 6.5% affected

But these figures don't necessarily paint the entire picture.

According to 2016 research from the Yale School of Public Health, the average age of those with PD symptoms (referred to as "probable PD") is around 48. However, the average age of those officially diagnosed with PD (referred to as "definitive PD") is 58.

What this suggests is that PD is not necessarily an "old man's disease" but one characterized by delayed diagnoses. In fact, studies show that the rate of PD among younger adults may be far higher than previously imagined.

Based on the probable diagnosis of PD, the Yale researchers reported the following rates among 7,711 study participants:

  • Ages 18 to 24: 15% affected
  • Ages 25 to 34: 12.9% affected
  • Ages 35 to 44: 9.5% affected
  • Ages 44 to 54: 8.7% affected
  • Ages 55 to 64: 13% affected
  • Ages 65 to 74: 13.1% affected
  • Over age 75: 13.9% affected

Not only are the rates of PD higher among younger people than previously thought, but symptoms tend to be more severe with greater penile curvature, higher pain scores, more penile plaques, and higher rates of emotional distress.

What Are the Mortality Rates for Peyronie's Disease?

Peyronie's disease is not associated with an increased risk of mortality (death). Even so, it is associated with significant physical and psychological morbidity (illness) and a decreased quality of life and well-being.

PD is linked to several long-term health concerns:

  • Diabetes: PD is more common in people with diabetes. It is also associated with a higher risk of diabetes complications involving the eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), and nerves (diabetic neuropathy).
  • Enlarged prostate: People with PD have a two-fold increased risk of prostatitis (prostate inflammation) and a three-fold increased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) compared to those without PD.
  • Depression: Studies suggest that 81% of people with PD report "emotional difficulty" due to the condition, while 1 in 5 has severe depression. Moreover, 54% reported relationship problems due to anxiety, depression, loss of sexual function, or low self-esteem.
  • Erectile dysfunction: If you have PD, there is a roughly 1-in-3 chance you'll have erectile dysfunction (ED). With that said, because PD tends to affect adults over 50—who are already at increased risk of ED—the cause of ED may be unrelated (or only partially related) to PD.

Peyronie's Disease and Infertility

Although Peyronie's disease is associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, it is not inherently linked to male infertility unless it prevents you from having sex.

Screening and Early Detection

There are no tests able to detect Peyronie's disease or predict who will get it. PD is a disease that is ultimately diagnosed after it develops, usually with a physical exam and an ultrasound (a non-invasive tool that can detect penile plaques using high-frequency sound waves).

An evaluation can predict the risk of sexual dysfunction. Generally speaking, a penile curve of greater than 60 degrees is linked to a high risk of sexual disability, including the inability to have sexual intercourse. However, the severity of the penile curve can in no way predict who may or may not experience pain.

On the flip side, people with a greater penile curve tend to respond better to injectable drugs like Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) that help treat PD by dissolving penile plaques.

Summary

Peyronie's disease (PD) is the abnormal curve of the penis that tends to happen in later life. Statistics indicate that 1 in every 100 people with penises is diagnosed with PD in the United States. However, the actual rate (factoring in diagnosed and undiagnosed cases) may be closer to 1 in 10.

White people are disproportionally diagnosed with PD (compared to other groups) due in part to genetic factors that may predispose them to PD. While people over 40 are more likely to get PD, there is increasing evidence that PD affects younger people and teens more than previously thought.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How common is Peyronie's disease in teenagers?

    Peyronie's disease (PD) is uncommon in teens but can occur. A 2012 study in the Journal of Sex Medicine reported that teens accounted for only 2.5% of cases compared to 76.7% of cases in adults 40 and over. Even so, symptoms tended to be more severe with greater penile deformity and seven times more penile plaques (scar tissues) than older adults.

  • How effective is Xiaflex in curing Peyronie's disease?

    Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) is an injectable drug that works by dissolving penile plaques in people with Peyronie's disease (PD). Studies show that Xiaflex is able to reduce the abnormal penile curve by an average of 34%. By comparison, study participants who didn't use Xiaflex experienced a 2.5% worsening of the penile curve.

  • Is Peyronie's disease linked to penile cancer?

    Peyronie's disease (PD) is a relatively benign condition characterized by an abnormal curve of the penis. For reasons not entirely clear, people with PD are at greater risk of testicular cancer, stomach cancer, and melanoma. In addition, it is suggested that genetic factors influencing a person's risk of PD may also affect the risk of certain cancers.

20 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Penile curvature (Peyronie's disease).

  2. Nelson CJ, Mulhall JP. Psychological impact of Peyronie's disease: a review. J Sex Med. 2013;10(3):653-660. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02999.x 

  3. Stuntz M, Perlaky A, des Vignes F, Kyriakides T, Glass D. The prevalence of Peyronie's disease in the United States: a population-based study. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0150157. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150157

  4. Al-Thakafi S, Al-Hatha N. Peyronie’s disease: a literature review on epidemiology, genetics, pathophysiology, diagnosis and work-up. Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5(3):280–289. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.04.05

  5. Bilgutay AN, Pastuszak AW. Peyronie's disease: a review of etiology, diagnosis, and management. Curr Sex Health Rep. 2015;7(2):117–131. doi:10.1007/s11930-015-0045-y

  6. Census Bureau. 2019 population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin.

  7. Department of the Treasury. Racial inequity in the United States.

  8. Segundo A, Glina S. Prevalence, risk factors, and erectile dysfunction associated with Peyronie's disease among men seeking urological care. Sex Med. 2020;8(2):230–236. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2019.11.002

  9. Riesmeijer SA, Werker PMN, Nolte IM. Ethnic differences in prevalence of Dupuytren disease can partly be explained by known genetic risk variantsEur J Hum Genet. 2019;27:1876-84. doi:10.1038/s41431-019-0483-5

  10. Tal R, Hall MS, Alex B, Choi J, Mulhall JP. Peyronie's disease in teenagers, J Sex Med. 2012;9(1):302-308. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02502.x

  11. Paulis G, Cavallini G, Barletta D, Turchi P, Vitarelli A, Fabiani A. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of young patients with Peyronie’s disease: a retrospective study. Res Rep Urol. 2015;7:107–11. doi:10.2147/RRU.S85708

  12. Habous M, Malkawi I, Han E, et al. Peyronie's disease is common in poorly controlled diabetics but is not associated with the metabolic syndrome. Urol Ann. 2019 Jul-Sep;11(3):252–6. doi:10.4103/UA.UA_164_18

  13. Askari M, Ali S, Mirjalili M, Bozorg M, Azizi R, Namiraniian N. The prevalence of Peyronie's disease in diabetic patients -2018- Yazd. Diabetes Metabol Syn Clin Res Rev. 2019;13(1):604-607. doi:10.1016/j.dsx.2018.11.039

  14. Lo EM, Hotaling JM, Pastuszak AW. Urologic conditions associated with malignancy. Urol Oncol. 2020;38(1):23–30. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.12.018

  15. Berger MH, Messore M, Pastuszak AW, Ramasamy R. Association between infertility and sexual dysfunction in men and women. Sex Med Rev. 2016;4(4):353-65, doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2016.05.002

  16. Walsh TJ, Hotaling JM, Lue TF, Smith JF. How curved is too curved? The severity of penile deformity may predict sexual disability among men with Peyronie's disease. Int J Impot Res. 2013;25(3):109-112. doi:10.1038/ijir.2012.48

  17. Flores JM, Salter CA, Nascimento B, et al. The prevalence and predictors of penile pain in men with Peyronie's disease. Sex Med. 2021;9(4):100398, doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2021.100398

  18. Cocci A, Russo GI, Briganti A, et al. Predictors of treatment success after collagenase clostridium histolyticum injection for Peyronie's disease: development of a nomogram from a multicentre single-arm, non-placebo controlled clinical study. BJU Int. 2018;122(4):680-687. doi:10.1111/bju.14410

  19. Rojo MAE, Iribarren IM, Rodriguez JC, Martinez-Salamanca JI. Experience in the use of collagenase clostridium histolyticum in the management of Peyronie’s disease: current data and future prospects. Ther Adv Urol. 2014;6(5):192–197. doi:10.1177/1756287214537331

  20. Pastuszak AW. Kohn TP, Eisenberg M. Increased risk of cancer among men with Peyronie's disease. Fertility Sterility. 2017;108(3):E39. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.07.129

By James Myhre & Dennis Sifris, MD
Dennis Sifris, MD, is an HIV specialist and Medical Director of LifeSense Disease Management. James Myhre is an American journalist and HIV educator.