Cardiac Screening in ED Patients Could Produce Colossal Cost Savings

March 7, 2015
Eileen Oldfield Associate Editor

Screening men with erectile dysfunction (ED) for cardiac risk factors could save the health care system $28 billion over a 20-year period.

Screening men with erectile dysfunction (ED) for cardiac risk factors could save the health care system $28 billion over a 20-year period.

These estimated cost savings, which were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, provide an additional counseling point for pharmacists who discuss ED with patients, particularly those reluctant to undergo cardiac screening.

“We can now highlight the economic benefits of this screening approach and its impact on the health care system,” lead study author Alexander Pastuszak said in a press release.

The savings result from identifying heart-related risk factors prior to cardiac events, as well as treating ED.

Screening all ED patients for cardiovascular disease would identify 5.8 million men with previously unknown heart-related risk factors over a 20-year period, at a total cost of $2.7 billion, researchers said.

Assuming that the screening and ensuing treatment would decrease cardiovascular events by 20%, 1.1 million events would be avoided, saving a total of $21.3 billion in treatment costs over 20 years. Another 1.1 million cases of ED would also be treated, saving the system $9.7 billion, researchers said.

The findings support recommendations from the Princeton Consensus Conference, a multidisciplinary meeting focused on sexual function and cardiovascular health.

The most recent conference, held in 2010, examined cardiovascular risk in men with ED and no history of cardiovascular disease.