Erectile dysfunction: An early indicator of heart disease?

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Erectile dysfunction: An early indicator of heart disease?

Question

Is it true that men with erectile dysfunction are at increased risk of heart disease?

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Answer

Evidence suggests that men with erectile dysfunction have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. This is likely due to the systemic nature of atherosclerosis — which can affect the blood vessels supplying the penis as well as blood vessels elsewhere in the body.

Erectile dysfunction has many causes, including some medications used to treat heart disease. Men with erectile dysfunction should be screened for other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Last Updated: 03/27/2006
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