Severe Heart Disease, Poor Prognosis Linked To Erectile Dysfunction
Jan 25, 2006 - 12:13:37 AM

In a study, researchers report that men with ED may have more severe cases of coronary heart disease and more risk factors for adverse outcomes than those without ED.

James K. Min, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Chicago Hospitals evaluated 221 men with an average age of 58.6 years who were referred for nuclear stress testing, a noninvasive diagnostic test for evolution of heart disease. The researchers screened the men for ED and then compared their results on the tests.

Of the 221 men, 121 (54.8 percent) reported ED. Patients with ED were older than men without ED and more likely to have heart disease, diabetes and hypertension and have undergone previous procedures to restore blood flow to the heart. They also were more likely to have results on the stress test that indicated they were at high cardiovascular risk, and more of them had already developed severe heart disease.

In patients referred for stress testing, "the presence of ED is common and is a strong predictor of clinically significant coronary heart disease and established markers of an adverse cardiovascular prognosis" as indicated by the tests, the authors write. "Erectile dysfunction is a stronger predictor than traditional coronary heart disease risk factors in this population," they conclude. "Sexual function questioning may be useful to stratify risk in patients suspected to have coronary heart disease. Further studies are needed to establish whether patients with ED but no cardiac symptoms should be screened for overt coronary heart disease."

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