However, based on these findings, Qin's group now thinks erectile dysfunction is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and not just an early marker of the condition.
Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, noted that "erectile dysfunction impacts some million 18 million men in the United States."
Cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction share many common risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, smoking, hypertension and high cholesterol, he said.
"A number of prior individual studies have shown that men with erectile dysfunction are at increased risk for fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events," Fonarow said. "Men with erectile dysfunction should be aware of this significant increase in cardiovascular risk and take proactive steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle and better control their cardiovascular risk factors."
For more information on erectile dysfunction, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Li-Qiang Qin, M.D., Ph.D., department of nutrition and food hygiene, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, People's Republic of China; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Sept. 13, 2011, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online
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