Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction May Predict Heart Attacks

Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) are twice as likely to experience a cardiovascular disease (CVD) event such as a heart attack or stroke, according to new research.1

The researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing data from 1914 men aged 60 to 78 years participating in the MESA study (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) and who attended visit 5 and answered a study question relating to ED symptoms.


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A total of 155 men who had had a CVD event before visit 5 were excluded from the analysis.

Overall, 115 fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, fatal and non-fatal strokes, cardiac arrests, and sudden cardiac deaths were reported.

Of the 1757 men followed for a median 3.8 years, more men with ED had experienced a CVD event than men without ED (6.3% vs 2.6%).

These results were similar after adjusting for other risk factors, including smoking and obesity.

“Our results reveal that erectile dysfunction is, in and of itself, a potent predictor of cardiovascular risk,” says study senior investigator Michael Blaha, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.2

“Our findings suggest that clinicians should perform further targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, regardless of other cardiac risk factors and should consider managing any other risk factors—such as high blood pressure or cholesterol—that much more aggressively.”2

—Amanda Balbi


  1. Uddin SMI, Mirbolouk M, Dardari Z, et al. Erectile dysfunction as an independent predictor of future cardiovascular events: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis [published online June 11, 2018]. Circulation.
  2. Erectile dysfunction means increased risk for heart disease, regardless of other risk factors [press release]. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association; June 11, 2018. Accessed June 11, 2018.


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