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Erectile Dysfunction a Strong Harbinger of Heart Trouble
Date:5/19/2008

Studies found having ED increased risk in diabetic men

MONDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Findings from two studies of men with diabetes add to the evidence that erectile dysfunction can be a powerful early warning sign for serious heart disease.

A Hong Kong study of 2,306 men with diabetes but no signs of heart disease found that those with erectile dysfunction at the start were 58 percent more likely to have a heart attack or other major cardiac problem over the next four years than those with adequate sexual function.

And Italian physicians who followed 291 men who had diabetes and early coronary heart disease for four years reported similar numbers -- those with erectile dysfunction were twice as likely as men without the problem to have major adverse events, including strokes.

There's a physical connection between male sexual failure and heart disease, involving the effect of diabetes on the nervous system and the blood vessels, said Dr. E. Scott Monrad, a professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

"Neuropathy would interfere with the neurogenic responses feeding into proper erection," Monrad said. "And obstruction of blood flow into the arteries reduces the pressure needed to achieve erection."

It has been known that erectile dysfunction shares many risk factors with coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes, according to Dr. Robert A. Kloner, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, who wrote an accompanying editorial on the reports, which were expected to be published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"What is new here is that erectile dysfunction remained a significant risk factor for developing heart disease after controlling for other cardiovascular risk factors," Kloner said in a statement.

"These reports add two thin
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