Drugs used to treat common risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol do not increase the risk for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men who take them, according to a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is often considered to be a side effect of heart medicines – a theory this study disproves.
This study, conducted by researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, involved more than 2,000 men taking medication to lower their cholesterol and/or blood pressure, as well as a control group that was given a placebo. According to researchers, none of the study groups experienced a significant change in erectile function as indicated by the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire during the almost 6-year follow-up.
There are several medical and psychological causes for erectile dysfunction – the inability to get or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse – and the condition affects most men at some point in their lives. About 40 percent of men over 50 experience erectile dysfunction and ED is more common in men with cardiovascular risk factors.