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Erectile Dysfunction Predicts Heart Disease
Date:1/18/2010

n, he said. Over the years, studies of a number of diagnostic techniques -- including computerized tomography scanning and various molecular markers, such as inflammation-related C-reactive protein -- have been shown not to improve on the Framingham profile's predictive power.

But those other measures are either costly, require blood tests or carry some risk, whereas erectile dysfunction can be determined by a simple question, Araujo said.

So doctors should ask the question, said Dr. R. Parker Ward, a cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, who has done several studies on erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk.

"Why not ask a simple question in the office that will reveal a diagnosis very clearly?" Ward said. "It is cheaper and easier than doing a lipid profile or measuring high blood pressure."

It's information that men should offer to their doctors, Araujo said. "Self-reported erectile dysfunction matches what urologists say about the question," he said. "We should get the message out: If you have an erectile problem, see your doctor."

Having a doctor ask the question or a man offer the information can lead to preventive therapy that can be lifesaving, Araujo said.

"One of the first signals that a guy has cardiovascular disease is often sudden death," he said.

More information

The U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse has more on erectile dysfunction.



SOURCES: Andre Araujo, Ph.D., director, epidemiology, New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Mass.; R. Parker Ward, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Chicago; Jan. 19, 2010, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online


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