By: Urology Care Foundation | Posted on: 13 Feb 2019
February is American Heart Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in America, and every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease."
What many folks may not be aware of is that Erectile Dysfunction (ED) may be an early sign of heart disease in men.
In addition to heart disease, ED can also happen as an early warning of a more serious illness, like: atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), high blood pressure or high blood sugar from Diabetes.
It is common for experts to call ED a "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to men's health. Since ED is a blood flow issue, it might be an early sign you're at risk for a heart attack.
ED, is the most common sex problem that men report to their doctor. It affects as many as 30 million men. It is defined as trouble getting or keeping an erection that's firm enough for sex.
Though it's not rare for a man to have some problems with erections from time to time, ED that is progressive or happens routinely with sex is not normal, and it should be treated.
Diagnosing ED starts with your health care provider asking questions about your heart and vascular health and your erection problem. Your provider may also give you a physical exam, order lab tests or refer you to a urologist.
The treatment for ED starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health. Your doctor may point out ‘risk factors' that can be changed or improved. Experts suggest that men stop smoking, lose weight and get more exercise to get the most out of their ED medication.
To learn more about ED check out our new video and podcast:
Get the Facts About Erectile Dysfunction Video
Erectile Dysfunction, a Patient's Guide Podcast
Share Your Story
Have a story to share? The Urology Care Foundation invites you to share your experience with a urologic condition and how it has affected you or your family.