Although ED is affected by certain psychological factors like stress and depression, this relationship works both ways – ED also has some negative effects on our psychological health. However, recent research suggests that ED could have some implications on our physical health as well, namely our cardiovascular system. This presents itself as a significant issue since more than 30 million men in the United States are affected by this condition.
So, is there a connection between ED and heart disease?
Initial Research Results
Early research found a link between erectile dysfunction and atherosclerosis – the clogging of blood vessels that plays an important part in heart attacks. A study by the Heart Institute of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles discovered that ED may be a sign of atherosclerosis that shows up three to five years before a heart attack.
Endothelial Dysfunction and ED
However, the connection between ED and heart disease may be a bit more subtle than that. A study by the Center for Healthcare Advancement & Outcomes in Florida explored the link between erectile dysfunction and subclinical cardiovascular disease, which is CVD (cardiovascular disease) that doesn’t present obvious symptoms.
This study found a strong connection between ED and endothelial dysfunction – a disorder which prevents blood vessels from fully dilating and thus obstructing the blood flow. Endothelial dysfunction is also an early predictor of atherosclerosis.
The Final Word
The link between ED and heart disease could play a vital role in the treatment and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in men. These discoveries greatly contribute to our understanding of both ED and cardiovascular disease, while providing us with additional methods to create new CVD risk prevention strategies.