Erectile dysfunction may double heart disease risk

Men with erectile dysfunction TWICE as likely to have a heart attack

A greater proportion of men who reported ED (6.3 per cent) suffered heart attacks, cardiac arrests or strokes than men who did not report ED (2.6 per cent).

Limited evidence of a link between ED and cardiovascular disease has emerged over the last several years, but results of this latest study provide what researchers say is the strongest indication to date that sexual dysfunction indicates heightened cardiovascular risk, the researchers noted. Men ages 60 to 70 with ED were twice as likely to suffer from heart complications.

By now, most people are familiar with the factors that can increase the risk of having a heart attack: gaining too much weight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, smoking and not exercising enough.

Scientists have known about a connection between erectile dysfunction and heart disease for some time.

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When other factors like smoking, abnormal blood pressure or cholesterol were removed, the risk dropped - but only slightly. Complete ED is seen in about 5 percent of males age 40, increasing to around 15 percent by age 70.

"Health care providers should consider including ED as a component of assessing cardiovascular risk among middle-aged men", said Becker, a professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati who was not involved with the study. In the latest study, Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research for the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, and his colleagues did the most rigorous analysis yet to account for the potentially confounding factors.

MONDAY, June 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Erectile dysfunction (ED) is independently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a research letter published online June 11 in Circulation. The participants were of various ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds. Participants with ED were more likely to have diabetes mellitus; a family history of CHD; and to use β-blocker, antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and antidepressant medications. "Our results suggest that these two factors may partially mediate the relationship between prior CVD and subsequent ED, but do not attenuate the prospective association of ED and incident CVD". That means that urologists who normally treat men for the condition should be open to referring their patients to heart experts, who can asses them for possible signs of early heart disease. As he said, if a man seeks treatment for erectile dysfunction, then he or she should also be examined by a cardiologist. As such, he continued, "the presence of ED tells us something about the cumulative dysfunction of the cardiovascular system that we couldn't have gathered just from the simple measurement of risk factors alone".

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