Erectile Dysfunction Can Be a Sign of Hidden Heart Disease

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) may think it is a private matter. However, Dr. Evan Goldfischer explains, erectile dysfunction is much more significant than just a personal, sexual issue. “ED can be predictor of a much higher risk of heart disease or stroke within 10 years.” Dr. Goldfischer is a board certified urologist, and a specialist in male and female sexual dysfunction at Premier Medical Group. He says, “Numerous studies indicate that ED is a sign of cardiovascular disease and should serve as a warning to men who experience it.”

Dr. Goldfischer says, “talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction is not easy, but you owe it to yourself to do so. We can help you to establish whether the cause of your ED is cardiovascular disease. An early diagnosis will help both your heart disease and your ED.”

It makes anatomical sense.  Heart disease causes clogging or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and it can also affect the small blood vessels and arteries in the body, including those in the penis. Interference to the blood flow can result in ED. Dr. Goldfischer comments, “your doctor will assess your heart disease risk factors, and the risk of sexual activity. You will also learn which ED treatments are safe for you.”

The risk factors for heart disease and erectile dysfunction are similar. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded that ED in men with type 2 diabetes and without obvious cardiovascular disease predicted coronary heart disease.

According to Dr. Goldfischer, “High blood pressure can damage the lining of the arteries and interfere with proper blood flow.  Smoking also damages the arteries. A study of more than 8000 men showed a significant association between current smoking and ED.”

Similarly, if a patient has conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, depression and is over the age of 50, erectile dysfunction is more likely to be a sign of underlying heart problems.

Dr. Goldfischer says “early diagnosis can help you make lifestyle changes that can improve both your ED and lead to better heart health. Changing your diet, exercising more, quitting smoking and alcohol consumption can all reduce the damage to blood vessels and arteries.” He recommends to men with ED, “Don’t be afraid, just tell your physician. Once you do, you’ve got a longer life and improved sexual health ahead of you.”

It is important for men who experience erectile dysfunction to seek medical advice including a thorough examination and tests.  The Urology Division at Premier Medical Group includes thirteen highly experienced, and knowledgeable physicians who maintain offices in seven locations, in Duchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. For appointments, call 845-437-5000