Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Penis as a Sentinel of Endothelial Health

Endothelial dysfunction is associated with most forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, and chronic renal failure.

What about ED then?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the consistent inability to obtain or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common, age-related disorder that diminishes quality of life for affected men and their partners. ED is, in fact, more than a quality-of-life issue.

The introduction of sildenafil (Viagra) and other phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, represents a major breakthrough in the treatment of ED and has resulted in a fast-growing body of knowledge regarding the cause of the disorder.

It is now generally accepted that most ED results from a disturbance of the endothelium(1), see preceding article.

In a recent study of 154 men with ED, 44% had hypertension, 23% had diabetes mellitus, 16% used tobacco, 79% had a body mass index greater than 26 kg/m2, and 74% had a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level greater than 120 mg/dL. The 10-year follow-up of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study has validated its original findings linking ED with cardiovascular risk factors(2).

The take-away message?

If you have symptoms of ED, talk to your doctor about the other risk factors.

For the rest of us, watch what you eat, exercise, avoid cigarette and excessive alcohol consumption.

Come on, sign up here for The Truth about Bananas

and don’t forget to exercise your mind, focus on the positive.

1. Miner MM, Kuritzky L. Erectile dysfunction: a sentinel marker for cardiovascular disease in primary care. Cleve Clin J Med. 2007;74 Suppl 3:S30-7.

2. Kendirci, M., Nowfar, S., Hellstrom, W.J.G. The impact of vascular risk factors on erectile function. Drugs Today 2005, 41(1): 65

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