Doctors at Johns Hopkins School in Baltimore, USA, have studied the possible link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. According to them, erectile dysfunction is an early sign of heart disease.
The leading cause of death among women and men, heart disease does not act the same way from one individual to another, the risks and symptoms are not always the same. Women will tend to be more emotionally stressed or to undergo more hormonal changes.
For men, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking or metabolic syndrome are all warning factors of heart disease, which affects a quarter of men under the age of 40 in the United States.
For the first time, Dr. Michael Blaha, a Baltimore professor, and his team have studied erectile dysfunction as an independent risk factor for heart disease in men. For nearly four years, these researchers followed 1914 men between the ages of 60 and 78 to study the possible link between heart dysfunction and erection.
With 115 strokes and heart attacks recorded, the researchers analyzed these data to conclude that over 6% of men with erectile dysfunction were experiencing these heart problems, while these forms of heart disease affect only 2.6% of men with no sexual dysfunction.
After taking into account additional risk factors (cholesterol, obesity …), the risk remains almost twice as high in men with erectile dysfunction.
“Our results reveal that erectile dysfunction is, in itself, a powerful predictor of cardiovascular risk,” commented Dr. Blaha. “Our findings suggest that clinicians should perform more targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, regardless of other cardiac risk factors.”