Erectile dysfunction hikes risk for cardiovascular disease


Study findings presented at the 2022 American Urological Association, found that men with erectile dysfunction (ED), particulary men living in rural areas, have an increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events or MACE. MACE is defined as someone who’s had a heart attack, coronary revascularization procedures, ischemic stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure. 

This large study, published in The Journal of Urology, included almost 430,000 men, of which almost 50,000 were diagnosed with ED. Of the men with ED, 32,138 lived in urban areas, and 17,821 lived in rural areas. The study participants chosen with ED had to have a least two prescriptions for ED (oral, intraurethral, and/or injection therapies) filled within the last year. 

The study showed that MACE was found in 8.9% of men with ED while only 4.6% of men without ED. Then, when the study findings were broken down into men living in urban versus rural areas, men who had MACE was 8.2% and 10.2% found in men with ED from urban and rural areas, respectively. 

Take away from the study

Men with ED should consider it an early indicator of increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease. This makes it imperative that a man’s primary care physician, urologist, or other healthcare professional treating them for ED, should discuss the risk of future heart disease and identify ways to avoid it. 

Erectile dysfunction is known worldwide, and over the past 30 years, the presence has doubled. One of the first risk factors out of a man’s control is aging. Other risk factors include men diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, men with a history of cardiovascular disease, men who smoke and are obese, men who are physically inactive, and men who drink four or more alcoholic beverages a day, have a two-fold increase of MACE in the coming years. 

By having a thorough, honest discussion, physicians can better pinpoint men who are at a higher risk for MACE. Once identified, steps can be taken to educate men on how to improve their health and wellbeing, avoid a MACE incident, and restore their sex life. 

These steps include:

  • Prescribing an individualized exercise program for physically inactive men.
  • Recommending the Mediterranean diet for heart health.
  • Helping men kick the habit if they smoke.
  • Better manage blood sugars if diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Refer to a registered dietitian for weight loss.
  • If alcohol is an issue, doctors can use medication; or refer men to psychological counseling or behavioral treatment. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911. 

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