Link found between Erectile Dysfunction and heart problems

Erectile-DysfunctionA study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has linked depressive symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men to cardiovascular problems. Erectile dysfunction has always been an embarrassing topic which men find difficult to discuss or seek help for. This often makes them depressed and increases the risk of a cardiovascular disease.

Elisa Bandini of University of Florence led a group of researchers to probe the link between the two. They studied approximately 200 men with ED using a structured interview program marking for depressive symptoms. It was concluded that depression increases cardiovascular symptoms independently and antidepressant medications did not vary the results of severe cases.

Bandini feels that it is very important to recognize depressive symptoms in ED patients to improve their sexual activity and also to prevent cardiovascular problems.

Dr. Stanley Wang, a cardiologist at the Heart Hospital of Austin is of the same belief and has called it a ‘double-paned window of silence’ as most men are embarrassed to speak about ED and scared to talk about heart diseases. He explained that a plaque that clogs the arteries around the heart generally shows up in smaller arteries in the pelvic region first, the arteries that are supposed to engorge the penis with blood. This serves as an indication of the cardiovascular problems that may occur soon.

He also said that ED patients in high-risk groups are more vulnerable. Heart problems are generally found in people older than 45, tobacco smokers and those with diabetics, uncontrolled blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in blood. High-risk group are people with at least two of these symptoms. He also said that a higher link percentage between the condition was found in younger men with ED.

Though this is a cause for worry it is not alarming as the doctors treating ED can refer patients to cardiologists to find the underlying problems and prevent the disease.