MEN who cannot have sex are as much at risk of having a heart attack as smokers and diabetics.Erectile dysfunction may be a sign that coronary artery disease is developing, even in men without the typical risk factors.
Researchers said the findings were alarming because almost 70 per cent of men suffering problems with erections do not seek medical advice. They said erectile dysfunction should be added to the list of risk factors for heart disease alongside high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and smoking.
"Erectile dysfunction should be part of a cardiovascular risk assessment," said Emilio Chiurlia, a researcher from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Modena, Italy, who conducted the study.
The researchers studied 70 men with erectile dysfunction and 73 control subjects who had similar coronary risk factors.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology today found arteries in the penis are affected by the build-up of plaque before the larger coronary arteries. Therefore erectile dysfunction may be symptomatic before a coronary event. About 40 per cent of men in their 40s, and 50 per cent of men in their 50s will suffer some form of erectile dysfunction.
By Clara Pirani (news.com.au)