ED More then Doubles the Risk of Heart Attack

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It's important that men be aware that erectile dysfunction is often a warning sign of cardiovascular disease (CVD). An article on the International Society for Sexual Medicine website says:

A paper, published last month in Circulation, was based on data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study. At their fifth MESA visit, 1,914 men answered a question about ED symptoms. Almost 46% of the men said they were “sometimes able” or “never able” to have erections and were classified as having ED. Next, the researchers followed 1,757 men (average age 69) for an average of 3.8 years. (One hundred fifty-five men from the original group were excluded because they had a cardiovascular disease event before the MESA study’s fifth visit.) During that time, there were 115 “hard events.” Forty were related to coronary heart disease (CHD) - heart attack, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and CHD death. The rest were cardiovascular disease CVD hard events – all CHD hard events plus stroke and stroke death. CHD hard events were reported for 3.4% of the men with ED and 1.4% of men without ED.

CVD hard events occurred in 6.3% of men with ED and 2.6% of men without ED. After adjusting for other factors, such as age, cholesterol, smoking status, diabetes, medications, and family history of coronary heart disease, ED was still a significant predictor of hard CVD events. (For hard CHD events, the relationship was nonsignificant.)