Erectile Dysfunction Raises Heart Risk, Even Without Other Risks

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New research published in Circulation suggests men with erectile dysfunction – also called ED – are at increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death, even when they do not smoke or have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity.

The study involved more than 1,900 men between 60 and 78 who were observed for four-plus years. According to the researchers, men who reported erectile dysfunction – the inability to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse – were almost twice as likely as those without ED to have a cardiac event, such as a stroke or heart attack.

Prior research has suggested there’s a link between ED and heart disease, but this new study provides the strongest evidence to date. Erectile dysfunction affects about 20 percent of U.S. men over age 20. Common risk factors associated with ED are the same as for heart disease: obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, and excess abdominal fat).

Sourced from: American Heart Association