Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Urol. 2005 Sep;48(3):512-8; discussion 517-8.

Is erectile dysfunction an indicator for increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke?

Author information

Department of Urology and Andrology, Donauspital, Vienna, Austria.



Considered to be a manifestation of a generalized vascular disease, erectile dysfunction (ED) could serve as an indicator for future cardiovascular events. Aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the role of ED as a predictor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.


Men participating in a health-screening project in the area of Vienna completed the International Index of Erectile Function-5 questionnaire (IIEF5) to assess prevalence and severity of ED. Additionally, all men underwent a detailed health examination. The risk for CHD or stroke within 10 years depending on the severity of ED was estimated according to Framingham risk profile algorithms.


In the CHD risk cohort (n = 2.495; 46.2 +/- 9.9 yrs) men with moderate/severe ED (IIEF5 5-16; n = 163) had a 65% increased relative risk for developing CHD within 10 yrs compared to those without ED (IIEF5 22-25; n = 1.784) (absolute risk: 8.0% for no ED to 13.2% for moderate/severe ED; p < 0.001). Relative risk increase ranged from 13.9% for those aged 30-39 yrs (p = 0.121), to 42.2% for 40-49 yrs (p = 0.012), 27.7% for 50-59 yrs (p = 0.048) and 27.1% for 60-69 yrs (p = 0.021). In the stroke risk population (n = 644; 61.3 +/- 5.1 yrs) men with moderate/severe ED (n = 99) were at a 43% relative risk increase for a stroke within 10 years (absolute risk: 9.3% for no ED to 13.3% for moderate/severe ED; p = 0.041). Increased risk varied between 38.6% for men aged 55-59 yrs (p = 0.013), 24.7% for 60-64 yrs (p = 0.072), 35.9% for 65-69 yrs (p = 0.046) and 43.6% for 70-74 yrs (p = 0.049).


Moderate to severe ED, but not mild ED is associated with a considerably increased risk for CHD or stroke within 10 years. A thorough medical surveillance seems therefore advisable for men with ED including cardiological evaluation, treatment of risk factors and lifestyle modifications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center