Erectile Dysfunction Means Increased Cardiovascular Risk

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with higher cardiovascular risk, regardless of other risk factors, according new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse. According to research, ED affects close to 20 percent of men aged 20 and over. If you look at the risk factors of ED, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, these are risk factors to heart disease, too. So, are the two diseases actually connected? There was limited evidence on the connection until this latest study report reveals. 

In this 4-year study, the research team followed 1,900 men aged 60 to 78. There were a total of 115 fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, fatal and non-fatal strokes, cardiac arrests and sudden cardiac deaths. Among these cases, men with ED were nearly twice as likely to suffer cardiovascular events than men without ED.

The findings suggest that ED is an important telltale sign that can help physicians gauge cardiovascular risk among middle-aged men. In fact, last year the United Kingdom has formally incorporated this indicator in the risk-scoring algorithm used by clinicians to assess a patient’s 10-year risk for suffering an adverse cardiovascular event.

The research team believes the findings suggest that clinicians should perform further targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, and should consider managing other risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol much more aggressively.

The research team also thinks positively about the effect of adding ED in the risk-scoring algorithm, because clinically incredibly numerous men avoid the doctor and ignore early signs of cardiovascular disease, but present for the first time with a chief complaint of ED. This is a wonderful opportunity to identify otherwise undetected high-risk cases.



* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.