Erectile dysfunction proven as a precursor to heart disease

Erectile dysfunction proven as a precursor to heart disease

I have spoken about this risk in seminars for years and now it has been shown again in the largest study ever done on the subject.

What did the ‘45 and Up Study’ on 95,038 men find?

  • Men without cardiovascular disease (CVD) but with severe erectile dysfunction (ED) were more likely to develop CVD and had a higher overall risk of death
  • The worse the ED, the higher the risk of CVD
  • Men with severe ED had significantly elevated risks of ischemic heart disease, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, all cardiovascular diseases combined, and all-cause mortality
  • This remained for men both with and without a history of heart disease
  • Men with severe ED and without known CVD had a 35% greater risk of hospitalization for all CVDs
  • Men with severe ED and without known CVD had a 93% elevated chance of all-cause mortality, compared to those with no erectile problems
  • Men with CVD and severe ED had a 64% increased risk for all CVDs
  • Men with CVD and severe ED had a 137% greater chance of all-cause mortality

“The findings provide general support for the Princeton consensus that men with erectile dysfunction require assessment for cardiovascular disease.  The risks of future heart disease and premature death increased steadily with severity of erectile dysfunction whether or not there was a history of cardiovascular disease.  The study indicated that erection problems seemed to a symptom of heart problems.  Rather than causing heart disease, erectile dysfunction is more likely to be a symptom or signal of underlying silent heart disease and could in future become a useful marker to help doctors predict the risk of a cardiovascular problem.  This is a sensitive topic but men shouldn’t suffer in silence; there are many effective treatments, both for erectile dysfunction and for cardiovascular disease.”
Study Author Emily Banks, MBBS, PhD, of Australian National University in Canberra, and colleagues.

“These results tell us that every man who is suffering from any degree of erectile dysfunction should be seeking medical assistance as early as possible and also insisting on a heart health check by their GP at the same time”
Rob Grenfell, Cardiovascular Health director at Australia’s Heart Foundation.

Study by Emily Banks, MBBS, PhD, of Australian National University in Canberra, and colleagues “Erectile dysfunction severity as a risk marker for cardiovascular disease hospitalization and all-cause mortality: a prospective cohort study” as published in PLOS Medicine 2013; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001372.  The researchers looked at the ‘45 and Up Study’, an Australian prospective, population-based investigation of 95,038 men 2006-2009 using government databases.  As reported by MedPage Today on January 31, 2013.

Posted: Saturday 2 February 2013

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