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ED may be a sign of impending heart disease, study concludes

Category: General Health

A 12-year research study has found that erectile dysfunction (ED) may be a warning sign of future cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure.

Andre Araujo, director of epidemiology at New England Research Institutes, and his colleagues adjusted for traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking to isolate ED as a potential indicator of heart disease.

Researchers discovered that men with erectile dysfunction had a 40 percent increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems. They found that of the over 1,000 participants in the study, 37 percent of men with ED were in the high risk category while only 17 percent of men without ED had an elevated risk of heart disease, according to Health Day.

"If a man presents [a doctor] with erectile dysfunction, the physician should work him up for cardiovascular disease," Araujo said. "It is low cost – indeed, no cost – with no risk associated with it."

He added that the results of the long-running study were expected as the same conditions that reduce blood flow to the heart can also reduce flow to the penis.

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