Younger men with ED more likely to develop heart disease later

February 12, 2009

Men who experience erectile dysfunction in their 40s are twice as likely to develop heart disease as men who don’t, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2009; 84:108-13).

Men who experience erectile dysfunction in their 40s are twice as likely to develop heart disease as men who don’t, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2009; 84:108-13).

Study results also showed that men with ED have an 80% higher risk of heart disease.

"The highest risk for coronary heart disease was in younger men," said study co-author Jennifer L. St. Sauver, PhD of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. The results suggest that younger men and their doctors may need to consider ED a harbinger of future risk of coronary heart disease and take appropriate steps to prevent it, she said.

ED was determined using the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. The baseline prevalence of ED in study participants was 2.4% in men age 40-49 years, 5.6% in men age 50–59, 17% in men age 60–69, and 38.8% in men age 70 and older. Those initial data and the increasing incidence of ED over time were linked to data from a long-term study of heart disease in Olmsted County residents,.

Over 10 years of follow-up, researchers found that men with ED were 80% more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with men without ED. The highest risk of new heart disease was seen in the youngest study participants with ED. In men who were 40 to 49 years old when the study began, the number of new cases of heart disease in men with ED was more than 50-fold higher than in men without ED.

In men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, the total incidence of new cases of heart disease also was higher in those with ED. However, the differences were not as striking as those seen among the 40- to 49-year-old group.