Recent clinical data has shown that men with erectile dysfunction may be at increased risk for heart problems. Researchers believe that poor circulation or hardened arteries in the penis can cause erectile dysfunction in some men.
Prescription cardiovascular medications can also lead to erection problems. Beta-blockers, diuretics, and cholesterol drugs have been known to interfere with male sexual performance. This evidence could have a significant impact on how doctors treat and diagnose heart problems.
Erectile dysfunction as a predictor for heart disease
Since doctors know that erectile dysfunction may be associated with heart problems, they can use that information to help identify at-risk patients. In a study conducted in 2012, researchers concluded that erectile dysfunction is a more accurate predictor of heart problems than other risk factors such as lifestyle choices and family history. The study showed that men aged 40 to 49 with heart disease were 50 times more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
A 2013 study showed that the link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease might also cause early death in men. This occurs in patients with and without a history of cardiovascular disease. The results indicated that men with severe erectile dysfunction who had not been previously diagnosed with cardiovascular disease were at a 35% higher risk of hospitalization due to cardiovascular problems. These men also had a 93% greater risk of mortality when compared to men without erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction has also been linked to other cardiovascular conditions. Endothelial dysfunction happens when the interior of your blood vessels become inflamed. This condition is closely related to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In a 2005 study, researchers found that endothelial dysfunction may also be linked to erectile dysfunction. The blood vessels in the penis are very narrow. The inflammation that occurs with endothelial dysfunction can inhibit blood flow to the penis and interfere with your ability to get an erection.
Treatments for men with erectile dysfunction
The good news is that erectile dysfunction medications can help men with heart problems. Most prescription medications used to treat erectile dysfunction are phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. A study conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic found that these medications are generally safe for men with cardiovascular disease. However, it’s always good to play it safe. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new medicine.
Many men with erectile dysfunction can also benefit from healthy lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that smoking can lead to erectile dysfunction. If you’re a smoker, talk to your doctor about starting a smoking cessation program. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you may also want to consider following a nutritious diet and regular exercise program. Weight loss can improve erectile dysfunction symptoms in some men. It’s also important to lower your stress levels and get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
Men with erectile dysfunction should seek the advice of a licensed physician. Your doctor can help you choose the best combination of erectile dysfunction treatments for your situation.