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Keep The Heart Strong By Minding Erectile Health

Armen Hareyan's picture

Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence and Heart

The American Urological Association cautions that poor quality erections or erectile dysfunction (ED) could be an indicator that another potentially serious condition, heart disease, is on the way.

In recent studies of men who were diagnosed with ischemic heart disease, or lack of sufficient blood flow to the heart, a significant number of men reported having erectile dysfunction an average of more than four years prior to developing actual heart disease.

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"That's logical, and it's an important indicator," says Dr. Ira Sharlip, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. "Erections depend on blood flow, so if there is a problem with blood flow to the penis, what these studies say that reduced blood flow due to arteriosclerosis may exist in other parts of the circulatory system and could lead to heart disease or heart attack."

"Men need to recognize that the circulatory system is responsible for many components of overall health, and that ED, which some men find difficult or embarrassing to discuss with their doctors, should be taken seriously because ED may be a warning sign of even more serious illness," Sharlip added.

The AUA's patient information website, www.urologyhealth.org defines erectile dysfunction as the inability of a man to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. It is associated with a variety of common physical conditions such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes and it may be caused or worsened by psychological factors such as stress, marital or family discord, job instability and depression. Some other risk factors for