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Erectile dysfunction by itself is not sufficient to predict risk of future cardiovascular disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Though men who have vascular erectile dysfunction appear to be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, that doesn't mean ED alone should be considered a risk factor.

In fact, current standard methods of assessing cardiovascular risk are sufficient for screening men, according to two recent papers looking at the link between ED and cardiovascular disease.

"Men with severe ED should get screened for cardiovascular disease."

One paper, by lead author Marina Prusikova and her colleagues in the Czech Republic, determined through a study examining 35 men with ED and varying risk factors for cardiovascular disease that men with ED have similar risk profiles as the general population.

The other paper, by Kenneth Ewane, MD and his colleagues, determined that having ED did not predict future cardiovascular disease any better than the factors already used to calculate a man's risk of developing the disease.

The typical predictors used to screen for cardiovascular disease come from the Framingham Heart Study.

Using Framingham factors, doctors calculating someone's risk currently consider a person's age, sex, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, plus whether the person has diabetes or smokes.

Dr. Ewane's study evaluated existing research by looking at all English-language journal articles between January 2000 and June 2011 that investigated ED and cardiovascular disease.

Their analysis included randomized controlled trials, cohort and retrospective studies and review articles.

They concluded that the men who should most consider being screened for cardiovascular disease are younger men with severe ED or men with ED who also have other risk factors for the disease.

Prusikova's paper appears in the November issue of the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters, and Dr. Ewane's study appears in the November issue of the Asian Journal of Andrology. Information was not available regarding any financial or commercial conflicts of interests of the researchers.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 30, 2011
Last Updated:
January 3, 2012