The temporal relationship between eretile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share similar risk factors, and ED may be a marker of CVD progression. The study assessed: (i) the temporal relationship between ED and CVD and (ii) the UK incidence of ED, in patients with CVD and an age-matched control group.
After ethics approval, 207 patients (CVD group) attending cardiovascular rehabilitation programmes and 165 age-matched subjects (control group), from GP practices across the UK, completed up to four questionnaires [ED details, The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) (before and after a cardiovascular event) and ED related Quality of Life]. A health professional also completed a medical details questionnaire.
Erectile dysfunction was reported by 66% of individuals with CVD, with a mean duration of 5 +/- 5.3 years. The control group was significantly different (p < 0.05) in both incidence (37%) and mean duration (6.6 +/- 6.8 years). Only 53% of the CVD group and 43% of the control group had discussed their symptoms of ED with a health professional. The IIEF demonstrated that ED became significantly worse (p < 0.05) after a cardiovascular event, changing from moderate to severe (13-10).
From these data, it is now evident that ED may precede a cardiovascular event by as much as 5 years. In almost half of the men with ED, there were missed opportunities to undertake a CVD risk assessment and provide an intervention, because the men did not acknowledge the problem. Men with ED should be specifically targeted for CVD preventative strategies in terms of lifestyle changes, and appropriate pharmacological treatments.
Figures in this publication
Available from: Raffaele Pezzilli
- "For this reason every effort should be made to check if cardiovascular risks are present in patients with ED or recognize when they begin to be present. Clinical studies revealed that the onset of ED symptoms occurs 2 to 3 years before CAD symptoms   and 3 to 5 years before cardiovascular events  . This relatively long time lag offers important potential in estimating and, ultimately, reducing cardiovascular risk in men with ED. "
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Evidence is accumulating in favour of a link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and coronary artery diseases. We investigated the presence of cardiac injury in patients who have had arteriogenic and nonarteriogenic ED using the hs-Tn levels.
The diagnosis of ED was based on the International Index of Erectile Function 5-questionnaire (IIF-5) and patients were classified as arteriogenic (A-ED, n = 40), nonarteriogenic (NA-ED, n = 48), and borderline (BL-ED, n = 32) patients in relation to the results of echo-color-Doppler examination of cavernous arteries. The level of hs-TnT and hs-TnI was measured in 120 men with a history of ED of less than one year with no clinical evidence of cardiac ischemic disease.
The levels of both hs-TnT and hs-TnI were within the reference range and there was no significant (P > 0.05) difference between patients of the three groups. The hs-CRP values were higher in A-ED men compared with NA-ED (P = 0.048) but not compared with BL-ED (P = 0.136) and negatively correlated with IIF-5 (r = -0.480; P = 0.031).
In ED patients of the three groups the measurement of hs-Tn allows us to exclude the presence of cardiac involvement at least when the history of ED is less than one year and the men are without atherosclerotic risk factors.
Available from: Hayley McBain
- "Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and ED share a similar disease profile in relation to their aetiology and risk factors. Vascular diseases have been documented as the most common cause of ED (Hodges et al., 2007) and both share risk factors such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and tobacco usage (Ponholzer et al., 2005). Exposure to such risk factors can result in the build-up of plaque around arteries or atherosclerosis, which can in turn lead to CVD. "
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ABSTRACT: Due to their similar aetiologies, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and erectile dysfunction (ED) are closely linked, with the prevalence of ED being approximately 75% for individuals at high risk of CVD. ED can have a detrimental effect on quality of life not only for the individual but also his sexual partner which in turn impacts upon their intimate relationship. Some CVD medications have been found to have a negative effect on erectile function and therefore act as an influential factor for the cessation of important CVD medication. Low adherence to CVD medication has been linked to increased health costs, hospitalizations and importantly, a higher risk of mortality. Research has shown that men find it difficult to seek medical help in relation to ED which is also compounded by the notion that health care providers do not address sexual issues adequately. Patients' beliefs about CVD medication are modifiable and therefore an opportunity exists not only for health care providers to facilitate discussions in relation to ED and medication adherence but also encompass an opportunity to increase adherence to CVD medication through intervention.
Available from: Graham Jackson
- "In 2001 two reports suggested that ED could be a marker for silent (asymptomatic) coronary artery disease (CAD)  . Subsequent reports identified ED preceding CAD in about two-thirds of cases, with the time interval from ED to CAD symptoms being 2–3 years and a cardiovascular event (myocardial infarction, MI, and stroke) 3–5 years, although longer time frames have been reported   . Furthermore, the severity of the ED correlates with the severity of the CAD . "
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ABSTRACT: Patients with cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction (ED). This may be a consequence of atherosclerosis of the penile arteries, a reduced cardiac output, or a side-effect of drugs used to reduce cardiovascular risk factors (particularly beta-blockers, thiazide diuretics and, occasionally, lipid-lowering drugs). ED is a distressing condition, which often diminishes the patient's self-esteem, with the potential for damage to his psychological health and his relationship with his partner and family. When treating ED, the underlying aetiology should be established by careful examination and consideration of medical history and concurrent medication. Until recently, pharmacological treatment options involved intracavernous injections (alprostadil or moxisylyte) or intraurethral alprostadil. These treatments are often inconvenient and not well accepted by the patient. The recent introduction of oral sildenafil promises to revolutionise the treatment of ED. In double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in patients with ED, sildenafil improved erectile function and quality of life and was well tolerated. ED is a clinically important complication of cardiovascular disease and should be asked about and treated accordingly. It is important that effective treatments, including sildenafil, should be available for treating patients with cardiovascular disease and ED.
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