Erectile dysfunction: a sentinel symptom of a subclinical or beginning cardiovascular disease? Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects millions of men worldwide, and its implications reach far beyond sexual activity. Nowadays, ED is recognized as an early marker for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. While being an essential quality-of-life component, ED is also associated with an independent risk of future cardiovascular events. ED has a similar predictive value for cardiovascular events as traditional risk factors.
Coronary artery disease is more prevalent and often more severe in patients with ED than in those without. Of particular relevance is the increased risk of cardiovascular event in ED men aged 50 years or less. Prevention of arteriosclerosis should be a priority therapeutic target, especially in age-related ED patients. Correcting the reversible causes or risk factors involved in atherosclerotic pathogenesis remains the first approach to adopt in order to improve endothelial function. Practitioners should be able to identify and prevent cardiovascular diseases for which ED could be a warning signal.
What is already known about the topic?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects millions of men worldwide. Moreover, its implications reach far beyond sexual activity. ED is recognized as an early marker for cardiovascular diseases.
What does this article bring up for us?
This article presents a literature review focusing on the potential warning role of vascular erectile dysfunction for the later occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, and on the importance of prevention.
Erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, sentinel symptom, prevention