connection between heart health and ed

From Health News, an article on the ties between erectile dysfunction and heart health:

If you see a doctor about erectile dysfunction, you should also ask them about your heart health.

That’s the takeaway from a new study that examined the already well-known ties between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk. It also found the link to be even stronger than previously known.

The study participants — 1,900 men between the ages of 60 and 78 — were twice as likely to have a heart attack or other cardiac event during the four-year study period if they reported suffering from erectile dysfunction.

That was after adjusting for the impacts of smoking, high blood pressure, and other traditional risk factors.

The findings led the researchers to declare erectile dysfunction (ED) itself a “potent predictor of cardiovascular risk.”

The study was published by the American Heart Association in its journal, Circulation.

One of the prime reasons for erectile dysfunction is cardiovascular trouble, which can lead to decreased blood flow to the penis and, consequently, decreased ability to get and maintain an erection.

Having ED has previously been tied to a hardening of the arteries that carry blood through the heart. That makes it more difficult for blood to flow easily through the arteries, potentially leading to blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes.

The new study looked at cardiac events, not just the ailments that can sometimes lead to them.

That furthers the “continuum” of what we know about ties between ED and heart health, said Dr. Richard Becker, chief of cardiology at the Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.

Becker told Healthline what stood out to him is the “strength of the association between ED, and not hardening of the arteries — atherosclerosis — which is what the focus has been before. But here, we see a twofold increase in the likelihood of cardiovascular events. And they’re not subtle events — heart attacks, strokes, death.”