Men with ED have 25% increased risk for cardiovascular events

January 5, 2006

Men with erectile dysfunction have a 25% higher risk of subsequent cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and angina, according to a study published recently in JAMA (2005; 294:2996-3002).

Men with erectile dysfunction have a 25% higher risk of subsequent cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and angina, according to a study published recently in JAMA (2005; 294:2996-3002).

Ian Thompson, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues, studied a group of men who were assessed for ED and subsequent cardiovascular disease over 7 years. The study included 9,457 men aged 55 years or older who were randomized to the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial at 221 U.S. centers. Subjects were evaluated every 3 months for cardiovascular disease and ED between 1994 and 2003.

A total of 8,063 men had no cardiovascular disease at study entry; of these men, 3,816 had ED. Among the 4,247 men without ED at study entry, 2,420 reported incident ED after 5 years. After adjustment, incident ED was associated with a 25% increased risk for subsequent cardiovascular events during study follow-up. For men with either incident or prevalent ED, the increased risk was 45%.

"Our data suggest that the older men in this group have about a 2-fold greater risk of cardiovascular disease than [younger] men without ED. With 70% to 89% of sudden cardiac deaths occurring in men, and with many men not having regular physical examinations, this analysis suggests that the initial presentation of a man with ED should prompt the evaluating physician to screen for standard cardiovascular risk factors, and, as appropriate, initiate cardioprotective interventions," the authors wrote.