Problems in the bedroom can indicate heart problems

January 31, 2005

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often the first and earliest sign of a more significant cardiovascular condition, according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study presents results from the Minority Health Institute (MHI) Expert Advisory Panel.

"Erectile dysfunction is not just a quality of life issue, but needs to be considered a significant public health concern associated with preventive cardiovascular medicine," states lead researcher and author of the article, Kevin Billups, MD. "The earlier a man is evaluated for ED, the better the outcome for maintaining good erectile function and good cardiovascular health."

Research suggests that medical evaluation for ED in patients needs to be integrated into an evaluation for cardiovascular risk as well. The study stresses that early recognition of ED, "particularly in high-risk and underserved minority populations" like African Americans and Hispanics, can lead to early diagnosis of previously undetected cardiovascular risk factors and subclinical vascular disease. African American men are 20% more likely to have ED than Caucasians, according the National Health and Social Life Survey.

While ED has traditionally been seen as a secondary complication to heart disease, diabetes, and other vascular illnesses, key findings in various clinical research studies have shown that ED was often present prior to the diagnosis of these other medical conditions. Because of this strong association, ED is now being considered an important barometer of a man's overall cardiovascular health and an early symptom of a more generalized vascular problem.

Adopting the ideas presented in this paper could have a significant impact on preventive cardiovascular health strategies," adds Dr. Billups.

The MHI recommends that all men aged 25 years and older should be asked about ED. Any signs of the problem should prompt physicians to aggressively assess whether or not the patient is at risk for cardiovascular disease.
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This article is published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Media wishing to receive a PDF please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Author
Kevin L. Billups, MD is a Board Certified Urologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of erectile dysfunction and female sexual disorders. He received his Medical Degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and undergraduate education from Harvard University. Dr. Billups has studied erectile dysfunction for more than 15 years and has a special clinical interest in studying erectile dysfunction as a predictor and warning sign of cardiovascular disease. He can be reached for questions and interviews at (612) 202-9082 or klbillups@earthlink.net.

About The Journal of Sexual Medicine
The Journal of Sexual Medicine is the official journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine and its five regional affiliate societies. It is the first journal owned and operated by the societies. The aim of the journal is to publish multidisciplinary basic science and clinical research to define and understand the scientific basis of male and female sexual function and dysfunction. The journal provides healthcare professionals in sexual medicine with essential educational content and promotes the exchange of scientific information generated from experimental and clinical research. The Journal of Sexual Medicine includes basic science and clinical research studies in the psychologic and biologic aspects of male and female sexual function and dysfunction, and highlights new observations and research, results with innovative treatments and all other topics relevant to clinical sexual medicine. For more information on The Journal of Sexual Medicine, please visit http://jsm.issir.org.

About The International Society for Sexual Medicine
The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) was founded in 1982 for the purpose of promoting research and exchange of knowledge for the clinical entity "impotence" throughout the international scientific community. The principal orientation of ISSM was initially towards basic science of erection, defects in the erectile mechanism, and the clinical aspects of diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. The focus is now towards the whole field of sexual medicine. The society has over 2000 members worldwide and there are five regional societies that are affiliated with ISSM including the African Society for Sexual and Impotence Research, Asia Pacific Society for Sexual and Impotence Research, European Society for Sexual Medicine, Latin American Society for Impotence and Sexuality Research, and Sexual Medicine Society of North America.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 550 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine is available at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1743-6095&site=1.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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