Diabetic Men With Erectile Dysfunction Urged To Consult Their Doctors

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Diabetic Men With Erectile Dysfunction

During the month of November, American Diabetes Month, the Erectile Dysfunction Institute (EDi) encourages all diabetic men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) to ask their doctor about being screened for cardiovascular disease.

"ED is an under-recognized and under-discussed complication of diabetes," states Dr. Ananda Basu, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. "What most patients don't realize is that coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death among diabetics -- and vascular dysfunction has been proven to be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease."

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ED is often associated with vascular dysfunction (impaired blood flow). If a patient is experiencing ED, it can be speculated that the impaired blood flow could be problematic in other areas of the body, especially the heart. Men with diabetes are three to four times more likely to have vascular disease leading to strokes and heart attacks than men who are not diabetic.

More alarmingly, a recently-published study shows that hospitalization and death rates due to diabetes-related heart attack is increasing. In the decade-long New York City study, all cause-specific death rates declined, with the striking exception of diabetes, which actually increased 61 percent in men.

"The amount of medical data concerning ED's relationship to diabetes and coronary heart disease makes it critical for both physicians and patients to be educated about the causes of ED," adds Dr. Ajay Nehra, Professor of Urology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. "Not only should diabetic patients with ED be screened for coronary heart disease, they should be treated by a multidisciplinary medical team who can address the many health and lifestyle issues that diabetes presents -- including urology, cardiology, endocrinology, nutritionists and behaviorists."

"The key, of course, is to prevent diabetes in the first place," concludes Dr. Basu. "That comes down to lifestyle choices for adults and children -- eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more teenagers being diagnosed with type 2, or adult onset, diabetes. In males, that can lead to complications like ED when they are only in their 30s."

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