Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) may need to also worry about heart attack or stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (January 21, 2004). Whereas some large epidemiological studies have pointed to an association between ED and cardiovascular conditions, this latest study included a detailed examination of the brachial artery in the arms of the study participants. The researchers looked at 30 men with ED and a control group of 27 age-matched men without the problem. Not all of the participants had known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.
The results indicated that the arteries of the men with ED had a worse response to measures to make them expand, such as nitroglycerin tablets. It is believed that failure to increase blood flow in one part of the body can also affect the arteries in the heart and other parts of the body, explained the researchers.