Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Erectile dysfunction may warn of heart disease

24.01.2006


Erectile dysfunction may provide a warning sign of significant coronary heart disease researchers from the University of Chicago report in the January 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Although recent studies suggest an association between erectile dysfunction and atherosclerotic vascular disease, this is the first study to link ED with abnormal results on cardiac stress testing, including evidence for severe coronary artery blockages and markers of a poor cardiovascular prognosis.



In this study, ED was a stronger predictor of significant coronary heart disease than any of the traditional office-based risk factors, such as family history, cholesterol levels or blood pressure. ED was also associated with reduced exercise endurance and decreased ejection fraction -- a measure of the heart’s pumping capacity.

"This suggests we may need to ask male patients a new set of sensitive questions as part of the evaluation for heart disease," said cardiologist and study director Parker Ward, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and director of the cardiology clinic at the University of Chicago. "The good news is that a decrease in sexual function could provide an additional warning sign for the presence of heart disease."


The study focused on 221 men who had been referred to cardiologists at the University of Chicago for nuclear stress testing, a widely used non-invasive way to detect the extent, severity and reversibility of coronary heart disease. Before cardiac testing began, the men filled out a questionnaire that assessed erectile function.

Almost 55 percent of the men (121 out of 221) suffered from erectile dysfunction. Those men, on average, scored less well on exercise tests and measures of coronary heart disease. They had shorter exercise times, lower treadmill scores, and more frequently had a low ejection fraction.

They also had greater evidence for significant coronary artery blockages during myocardial perfusion imaging -- the portion of the test that measures blood flow to the heart. Forty-three percent of men with ED, compared to 17 percent of tested men without ED, had a myocardial perfusion summed stress score greater than eight, which is "strongly associated with clinically significant obstructive coronary artery disease and a high risk of both cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction," note the authors.

Erectile dysfunction does not cause heart disease, they caution, but it may indicate that the process of arterial damage is well under way.

The risk factors for ED and coronary artery disease are similar, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and hyperlipidemia. "As the penile arteries are relatively small in comparison with the coronary arteries," the authors write, "they may be more prone to cause ED with even comparatively small amounts of atherosclerosis."

They caution that there are a number of potential causes for erectile dysfunction, including emotional or psychological components which may not be associated with heart disease. Nonetheless, "the fact that heart disease and ED are linked biologically should come as no surprise," Ward said.

This paper has two important clinical implications, Ward said.

"First, our study identifies a group with a high prevalence of ED, and thus increased communication about this sensitive topic between patients and physicians may lead to increased treatments and improved quality of life for these patients."

"Second, asking patients about their sexual function may help identify those at risk for significant heart disease, allowing physicians to stratify that risk with further testing, and get them engaged in an aggressive program of risk-factor modification or treatment."

John Easton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchospitals.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>