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Mayo Clinic Study Finds Younger Men With Erectile Dysfunction at Double Risk of Heart Disease

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:06am

Men who experience erectile dysfunction between the ages of 40 and 49 are twice as likely to develop heart disease than men without dysfunction, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.

“The highest risk for coronary heart disease was in younger men,” says researcher Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D. The study was published in the February 2009 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The results suggest that younger men and their doctors may need to consider erectile dysfunction a harbinger of future risk of coronary heart disease — and take appropriate steps to prevent it, says Dr. St. Sauver.

“The importance of the study cannot be overstated,” writes Martin Miner, M.D., in an editorial in the same issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The results “raise the possibility of a ‘window of curability,’ in which progression of cardiac disease might be slowed or halted by medical intervention,” writes Dr. Miner, who practices at the Men’s Health Center, Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.

Erectile dysfunction is common, and prevalence increases with age. It affects 5 to 10 percent of men at age 40. By age 70, from 40 to 60 percent of men have the condition.

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