Erectile Dysfunction: A Symptom of Heart Disease

Recent study conducted by Prince Henry’s Institute in Melbourne Australia published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that men over 20 years of age with erectile dysfunction (ED) have twice the risk of cardiovascular accidents than those of normal men sexual health. It was also found out that 2% of men aged 55 and older experienced major stroke and cardiac arrest after the initial episode of ED within a year. On the other hand, 11% experienced within five years.  Experts from Prince Henry’s Institute warned men with regards to failure to seek advice on erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure. As a result, this may warrant a missing vital warning of impending symptom of heart disease. Why is this happening? Do men with ED predispose them to have cardiovascular diseases and strokes or just the other way around?

Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of heart disease. Erection is caused by engorgement of blood into the penile tissues which later becomes rigid for penetration. Men with heart problem suffer from an inadequate blood flow to the smooth tissues of the penis to achieve erection. A major cardiovascular disease known as Atherosclerosis is a result of fat accumulation in the arterial blood vessels. This builds up of multiple plaques or fatty material causes the arteries to narrow and harden thus limiting blood flow. The arteries supplying your penis are smaller than those supplying your heart. In fact, ED can be an initial symptom of heart diseases like Atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular problems can also damage penile nerves and arteries, inhibiting erectile function. Thus, experts found a consistent link between ED and heart disease. Also, recent researches conducted by health professionals showed a direct connection between erection and heart problem.

Most of the time, ED is the first symptom of poor cardiovascular health. Hypertension oftentimes doesn’t manifest outward symptoms of heart disease.  Some men go undiagnosed with high blood pressure for so long. Also, it is troublesome for several men who feel uncomfortable discussing with their health providers about erectile dysfunction. Therefore, they fail to seek medical advice and suffer from progressive worsening of their cardiovascular problems before deciding to undergo treatment.

Erectile dysfunction and heart disease are very serious medical condition that requires prompt treatment. In addition to being a symptom of heart disease; ED is link to many other physical and psychological problems. Men with ED can be withdrawn from their partner and even avoid romantic relationships. It may be difficult for men with erectile dysfunction to reproduce and can lead to low self-esteem, depression and poor work performance.  Therefore, frequent medical check up for patient with erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure is necessary.

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