It was found that those who reported erectile dysfunction had an average of more than twice as likely to experience heart attack, cardiac arrest, sudden cardiac death and stroke (lethal or non-fatal). Men ages 60 to 70 with ED were twice as likely to suffer from heart complications.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) was an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease in a large, multiethnic, community-based cohort of men, even after controlling for other factors that have always been considered to complicate the connection between erectile problems and heart disease, new research shows.
The link between impotence and heart disease appears to be "a two-way street", Blaha said, given that men who have had a heart attack appear to face a higher risk for ED.
Around 20% of men over age 20 experience erectile dysfunction in the US, and the rates are higher among older men.
What's The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Heart Disease? 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.
Given the results of his team's study, Blaha said that men with erectile dysfunction should see their doctor for a "comprehensive" cardiovascular evaluation and should be cognizant of how ED could potentially predict future heart events.
Several previous studies have already proven that impotence and heart disease may develop through similar physiological processes which occur in people with high blood cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypertension, and obesity. Men with ED had a 1.9 times greater risk for CVD events. The participants were of various ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds.
Dr Blaha added that men seeking treatment and evaluation for ED should be a signal to conduct a comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation.
Although ED is not a direct cause of cardiovascular health risks, it is a sign that middle-aged men should not ignore. 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.
For many men, erectile dysfunction is a frustrating condition that can get in the way of a normal sex life. 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".