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Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan;14(1):138-44. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.137. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Should patients with erectile dysfunction be evaluated for cardiovascular disease?

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Division of Urology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, 77030, USA.


The landmark Massachusetts Male Ageing Study shed new light on the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) and drew attention to ED as a disease of ageing. Over the years, ED has been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in some patients. There is clear evidence that ED and CVD share and have a similar risk factor profile. CVD is one of the most recognizable causes of mortality and early detection coupled with prevention of mortality from CVD has been the prime interest of many researchers. Consequently, there has been a multidisciplinary curiosity regarding the proposal to use ED as a marker for future CVD. In fact, there have been several proposals to use ED as a screening tool for future CVD. We performed a comprehensive search of two main databases-PubMed and Cochrane Library using a combination of keywords such as acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease (CAD) and ED. Journal articles from January 2000 to June 2011 were reviewed. We included all articles discussing the relationship between ED and CVD in the English language. All the relevant randomized controlled trials, cohort and retrospective studies, and review articles were included in our overall analysis in an attempt to answer the question whether all patients with ED should be clinically evaluated for CVD. The results showed a link between ED and the development of future CVD in some patients, but ED was not shown to be an independent risk predictor that is any better than the traditional Framingham risk factors. Screening for CVD may, however, be rewarding in younger patients with severe ED and in patients with concurrent CVD risk factors.

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