Erectile dysfunction may indicate heart failure

Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen/Getty Images/iStockphoto Heart attacks and heart disease. 3d illustration

Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Erectile dysfunction is a predictor of myocardial infarction.

HEALTH – If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you may be suffering from a much more serious condition. According to a study by CETI (Center for Exploration and Treatment of Impotence) presented on Wednesday, January 11 at the National Academy of Surgery, erectile dysfunction can be a sign of heart failure. It is therefore a predictive factor for serious cardiac events such as myocardial infarction.

To reach these conclusions, the CETI doctors followed 20 patients aged 41 to 68 who suffered from erectile disorders of vascular origin – those with damaged arteries in the penis – and who did not show other heart symptoms. All underwent CT examination.

As a result, 90% of patients also had diseased coronary arteries. If blocked, these arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, can cause a heart attack. Of the sample studied, only one patient had a normal CT scan.

According to an article by France Intersurgeon Ronald Virag, one of the authors of the study, explains that the youngest patients are most affected: “DIn 19 cases out of 20, there was already arterial damage in young subjects aged 40 to 50 years, and the more severe the younger they were. »

Interventions on three patients

Half of the 19 patients’ arteries showed damage “moderate”. The only recommendation to prevent the development of the disease in these cases: monitor your lifestyle. But the other patients’ coronary arteries were much more severely affected. Three of them even had to be operated on immediately to avoid a heart attack.

But why is impotence related to cases of heart failure? According to the French Federation of Cardiology, the arteries in the penis and in the heart have an identical function. Erection is a vascular mechanism involving vasodilation (the expansion of a blood vessel, editor’s note), which in case of problems injures itself, which may signal a vascular anomaly. » Erectile dysfunction is also found in 75 to 90% of heart failure cases.

A means of prevention

But the main lesson of the CETI study is quite positive: erectile dysfunction can prevent myocardial infarction and thereby avoid death. Especially since he “it has been shown that the loss of erection often precedes the occurrence of an acute cardiovascular accident by 3 to 5 years”again according to the Federation, which adds that “the presence of erectile dysfunction would increase a man’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 25%”.

“This study overwhelmingly confirms the predictive factor of patent and latent coronary lesions of erectile dysfunction of arterial origin regardless of their severity. Their early detection gives hope in the future for a reduction of sudden death or severe initial myocardial infarction.”concludes Professor Ronald Virag in the report on the study.

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