Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk

Cardiovascular disease is common in men with erectile dysfunction (ED). Most cases of ED are linked to abnormalities in blood supply to the penis. The endothelial cells lining the blood vessels have trouble secreting nitric oxide, which is vital for blood flow control. Shona Fang from the New England Research Institutes, and co-workers, found that men with ED showed more risk factors for coronary artery disease as measured by the Framingham Coronary Heart Disease Risk calculator, which considers age, sex, smoking, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and blood pressure medications. Men with long-term ED showed progressively higher heart disease risk scores. You can estimate your 10-year risk of having a heart attack on the National Institute of Health website at

Source: Journal of Sexual Medicine,12: 100-108, 2015

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