Men should watch out for numerous risk factors for heart disease, including one sign that can be significant for older men.
A new study provided a link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk.
What's The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Heart Disease?
A team of researchers found that men with ED were twice as likely to have heart disease. The study was published on June 11 in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.
Other risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, did not play a role in the findings. Researchers found that men were probably more likely to recognize sexual dysfunction than signs of a cardiovascular disease.
There are roughly 30 million American men who are suffering from ED and the disease was previously linked to diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Not all cases of ED can be treated with prescription medicine, however, and those cases that can be treated often come with side effects.
Apparently, ED can happen to men of all ages.
How Did Researchers Find This Cardiovascular Connection?
In the study, researchers examined 1,900 men aged 60 to 78. The participants came from various ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds.
Over a four-year period, there a total of 115 fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac arrests in the study. Among the men who reported the cardiovascular issues, 6.3 percent had ED and 2.6 did not have ED.
Researchers also accounted for other risk factors, such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Even after adjusting for those factors, participants with ED were still twice as likely to have heart problems.
What Are The Future Implications Of This ED Study?
Although ED is not a direct cause of cardiovascular health risks, it is a sign that middle-aged men should not ignore.
"Our findings suggest that clinicians should perform further targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, regardless of other cardiac risk factors and should consider managing any other risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol that much more aggressively," said Michael Blaha, M.D., study senior investigator.
It is suggested that men with ED should speak to a cardiologist. Meanwhile, urologists treating men with ED should refer the patients to cardiologists.
Sometimes, men will seek treatments for ED as a way to treat the heart problems. However, ED treatment is not considered the same as cardiovascular treatment. There are usually different specialists involved and different treatment methods.