Erectile dysfunction appears to be a marker for cardiovascular disease, premature death
In a study published in PLOS Medicine on January 29, 2013, researchers reported that an increasing risk of future cardiovascular disease and of premature death is associated with increasing severity of male erectile dysfunction (ED). And this finding included men with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Notably, even though prior studies have suggested an association between ED and CVD risk, this is the first study indicating that even mild ED correlates to an increased risk of CVD hospitalization and all-cause mortality.
The investigators emphasized that ED is not a likely cause of CVD, both have similar underlying causes such as atherosclerosis. Therefore, they suggest that ED could serve as a clinical marker to help identify men needing further CVD risk analyses.
Lead investigator Emily Banks, MBBS, PhD, professor of epidemiology and public health at Australian National University College of Medicine, Biology and Environment in Canberra, Australia, and her colleagues analyzed data on 95,038 men (age 45 and older) from the Australian prospective cohort 45 and Up Study. The study is the largest study of healthy ageing ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere, and includes over 250,000 subjects from New South Wales, Australia.
They researchers analyzed the data for the association between severity of self-reported ED and CVD hospitalization and mortality, after adjusting for potential confounding factors.
The average follow-up was 2.8 years.
Among men without known CVD at baseline, those with severe versus no ED had a relative 35% increase in risk of hospitalization for all CVDs, and a relative 93% increased risk of all-cause mortality.
Among men with known CVD at baseline and severe ED, increased risk of hospitalization for all CVDs combined was a relative 64% and for all-cause mortality, 137%.
The authors concluded, “The findings of this study highlight the need to consider ED in relation to the risk of a wide range of CVDs”.
At the Personal Medical Clinic we focus on Male health in a multidisciplinary approach. We perform executive Male Health Screening to assess risk factors in order to advise you on appropriate treatment, necessary changes of life style or initiate referrals to other specialists.