A healthy heart… helps sex

Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system helps prevent erectile dysfunction. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension by a team of researchers from the Northwestern University of Chicago (and other research institutes) confirms the existence of a direct link between cardiovascular health and the risk of developing erectile dysfunction throughout life. The research focussed on the seven main risk factors for cardiovascular disorders – hypertension, cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, overweight and obesity, smoking, sedentary life, and an unbalanced diet. By assigning a value between 0 (greater risk) and 2 (lower risk) to each, these risk factors can be used to calculate cardiovascular health. This value helps identify the absolute risk for an individual to suffer from cardiovascular problems, and which until today has never been linked to erectile dysfunction. To find out the relationship with erectile dysfunction, the researchers followed the clinical history of 1136 men with good cardiovascular health in their sixties for ten years. Those with a lower presence of all seven risk factors were associated with a lower incidence of erectile dysfunction throughout life. The first author of the study, Abbi Lane-Cordova told Reuters: “This study showed that men who were less likely to have risk factors for heart disease and had healthier behaviors (non-smoking, physically active, healthier diet) were also less likely to have erectile dysfunction later in life”. The authors of the study specified that erectile function had been monitored only once during the decade of observation. These results should be confirmed by collecting more data, with the aim of understanding whether modifying the risk factors has an effect on sexual health.

Lane-Cordova, A. L., Kershaw, K., Liu, K., Herrington, D., and Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Association Between Cardiovascular Health and Endothelial Function With Future Erectile Dysfunction: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, American Journal of Hypertension (2017)

PP-SH-UK-0016 | Date of preparation: Feb 2018