Scroll To Top

Impotence could
be sign of heart disease

Impotence could
be sign of heart disease

Men suffering from impotence should be screened for cardiovascular disease because it could be an early sign of the illness, Italian researchers said Wednesday. They believe erectile dysfunction could be a "sentinel of the heart," enabling doctors to detect heart disease before symptoms occur.

"A strict medical surveillance program should be mandatory in patients with erectile dysfunction, multiple risk factors, and no clinical artery disease," said Piero Montorsi of the Institute of Cardiology at the University of Milan, Italy.

In a study of almost 300 men who suffered from impotence and clogged arteries, 93% reported symptoms of erectile dysfunction between one to three years before experiencing chest pains and discomfort brought on by angina pectoris.

"Many patients with erectile dysfunction and multiple risk factors [for cardiovascular disease] are at a higher risk of developing sooner or later a coronary acute event," says Montorsi.

He and his team suggested that clogged arteries also have an impact on penile circulation. Erectile dysfunction may develop earlier than heart disease because the penile artery has a smaller diameter than coronary arteries.

"This is probably the main reason why erectile dysfunction comes before coronary artery disease," said Montorsi, whose findings are reported online by the European Heart Journal.

The researchers also discovered that the number of cases of erectile dysfunction was lower in men who had a heart attack involving one clogged blood vessel and higher in patients with many clogged arteries or chronic coronary syndrome.

Coronary heart disease, a major killer in industrialized countries, occurs when there is a buildup of plaque that clogs up the arteries and restricts blood flow. High blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels, smoking, lack of exercise, and diabetes are risk factors.

Cases of erectile dysfunction increase with age. About 5% of 40-year-old men and up to 25% of 65-year-olds experience erectile dysfunction. It can be caused by an illness or injury that affects the nerves or blood flow or the side effects of drugs.

"All men with erectile dysfunction and no cardiac symptoms need a detailed cardiac assessment, blood pressure measurement, fasting lipid profile, and glucose test as well as lifestyle advice regarding weight and exercise," said Graham Jackson, a cardiologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, in a statement. (Reuters)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff