New research suggests that men with erectile dysfunction (impotence) face an elevated risk of heart disease.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that, out of 2,306 men with type-2 diabetes, those with erectile dysfunction at the start of the four-year study were far more likely to develop coronary heart disease.
Out of every 1,000 men with erectile dysfunction, 19.7 could be expected to experience a coronary heart disease event each year, compared with just 9.5 out of every 1,000 men without erectile dysfunction.
"The development of erectile dysfunction should alert both patients and healthcare providers to the future risk of coronary heart disease," said Dr Peter Chun-Yip Tong, an associate professor in the department of medicine & therapeutics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The expert added that patients with erectile dysfunction should be reviewed for other heart disease risk factors, which include poor blood glucose control, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking and obesity.