People usually know the most common risk factors for heart disease but, unfortunately, they tend to leave out a few. In some cases, men are more at risk to suffer adverse cardiac events, and certain health conditions make them even more sensitive. For instance, those with erectile dysfunction have double the chance to develop a cardiac condition.
Erectile dysfunction and heart disease are linked
Researchers decided to investigate the incidence of erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Previously, doctors linked the condition with the apparition of other diseases, like Parkinson’s, diabetes, or sclerosis. Now, they decided to account for the dysfunction as a cardiac risk factor since people can identify it more easily than high cholesterol, for instance.
For the study, researchers selected 1,900 men aged between 60 to 78 coming from diverse backgrounds. During a period of four years, they had looked at the incidence of erectile dysfunction and of cardiac events. At the end, they identified 115 cases of stroke, heart attack, or other heart events.
This might help men better spot future heart problems
Then, they looked at the risk factors involved. Of course, they accounted for smoking, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, or obesity, but they added one more on the list. They looked at the people with erectile dysfunction and found them twice as likely to have a heart condition. This happened regardless of the other factors.
However, researchers say men shouldn’t worry. Erectile dysfunction is an important factor, but it isn’t a direct cause of heart attacks and strokes. The study was merely observational and identified a correlation. Also, it should help people keep better track of possible heart problems in the future.
Treating this dysfunction can be tough, as it can be of several types. Typical drugs and therapy methods might not work for all cases, while some of them can cause serious side effects. The study was published in the journal Circulation.
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