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Extent of Heart Disease Linked to Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction precedes coronary artery disease diagnosis by an average two to three years

WEDNESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Erectile dysfunction rates differ between groups of patients with established coronary artery diseases, according to new findings published online July 19 in the European Heart Journal.

Piero Montorsi, M.D., of the University of Milan in Italy, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of erectile dysfunction among 285 coronary artery disease patients who were divided into three age-matched groups: acute coronary syndrome and one-vessel disease; acute coronary syndrome and two- to three-vessel disease; or chronic coronary syndrome. Patients were compared with a control group who had suspected coronary artery disease but had clear arteries according to coronary angiography.

The prevalence of erectile dysfunction was low among controls and patients with acute coronary syndrome and one-vessel disease (about 22 percent to 24 percent) and higher among coronary artery disease patients with two- to three-vessel disease (55 percent) and chronic coronary syndrome (65 percent). The investigators also found that rates of erectile dysfunction severity, but not prevalence, were related to the extent of the coronary artery disease. Symptoms of erectile dysfunction tended to develop prior to heart disease with a mean time interval of two to three years.

"We need to think of ED as standing for Erectile Dysfunction, Endothelial Dysfunction and Early Detection," writes Graham Jackson, M.D., of the Guy's & St. Thomas' National Health Services Foundation Trust in London, U.K., in an accompanying editorial.

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