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Int J Impot Res. 2005 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S4-6.

Sex and the heart.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston, 77555, USA.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a highly prevalent and increasingly common, mainly vascular disorder. Most patients with chronic cardiovascular diseases experience decreased libido and frequency of sexual activity, as well as ED. Some unique organic and psychological factors contributing to ED have been identified in patients with underlying cardiovascular problems. Certain risk factors are common to the development of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ED, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia. Additionally, the use of medications such as beta blockers, digoxin and thiazide diuretics might eventually cause but more likely worsen sexual dysfunction. These unintended consequences can lead to medical noncompliance in misguided efforts to retain satisfactory sexual activity, and thereby worsen cardiovascular problems. Accordingly, it is important for physicians dealing with patients with cardiovascular diseases to address sexual concerns in their patients. After careful evaluation, most patients with stable cardiac disorders can resume sexual activity and/or can be treated for ED.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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