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J Gend Specif Med. 2002 Nov-Dec;5(6):19-24.

Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in erectile dysfunction.

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Center for Sexual Function and Section of Endocrinology, Lahey Clinic Northshore, Peabody, MA, USA.



Thirty million men in the United States may have erectile dysfunction, and coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of death in men over 55 years old. Several studies have shown a correlation between erectile dysfunction and risk factors for coronary artery disease. Hyperlipidemia plays a pivotal role in CAD, and obesity is now considered an independent risk factor for CAD. Therefore, we attempted to determine the prevalence of obesity and hyperlipidemia, along with other established risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and tobacco use, in men with erectile dysfunction.


Men who had had symptoms of erectile dysfunction for at least six months were recruited from the Center for Sexual Function. Participants underwent detailed clinical interviews, blood analyses, and physical examinations including calculation of body mass index, and they completed a questionnaire on sexual function.


Of the 154 men evaluated, 44% had hypertension; 23% had diabetes mellitus; 16% used tobacco; 79% had a body mass index of > 26 kg/m2; and 74% had a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level of > 120 mg/dL.


Impotence is an important symptom, and its presence should instigate assessment and aggressive management of coexistent risk factors for CAD. Intervention could restore sexual function and ultimately improve cardiovascular health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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