Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Erectile Dysfunction Predicts Coronary Heart Disease

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an independent predictor of severe coronary heart disease among men suspected of cardiovascular disease, according to investigators here.

UCLA researchers found that the more severe the ED, the more severe the heart disease. Studies in the US and Canada have found that men with ED are more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure.

To get an erection, blood vessels have to dilate and constrict at the right time. The same process that causes fatty deposits to build up in arteries of the heart also affects the blood vessels in the penis. The result: the penis is unable to fill and hold the extra blood needed to maintain an erection.

The finding suggests that questioning about sexual function should be a routine part of a physician's exam to identify patients in need of a further workup.


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