Erectile Dysfunction Precedes Heart Attack

BEIJING, June 23 (UPI) — Seventy-six percent of men hospitalized for a heart attack had erectile dysfunction six months prior to the heart attack, researchers in Malaysia found.

Dr. S.V. Ramesh of the University of Malay Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said the yearlong study conducted last year involved 111 sexually active men at the University Malaya Medical Center.

Ramesh said atherosclerosis, the root cause of erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease, is a generalized inflammatory disorder that progresses at a similar rate throughout the body, but erectile dysfunction may precede heart attacks because penile arteries are considerably smaller than the coronary arteries.

“This study demonstrates that we should consider patients with evidence of erectile dysfunction to be of very high risk for development of future acute coronary syndromes,” Ramesh said in a statement. “Interestingly, the study also found that all patients with a prior history of heart attack and erectile dysfunction presented with recurrent heart attacks. Therefore, we should screen and treat such patients very aggressively.”

The findings were presented at the World Congress of Cardiology scientific sessions in Beijing.

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