Could a weak erection mean a weak heart?

Could a weak erection mean a weak heart?

A weak erection could indicate a weak heart, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers found that men who reported erectile dysfunction were twice as likely to experience heart attacks, cardiac arrests, sudden cardiac death and fatal or non-fatal strokes.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. It causes 1 in 4 deaths, almost 610,000 people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, caused by plaque clogging up arteries and stopping blood flow.

“Risk factors for erectile dysfunction, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and tobacco use, are shared by other vascular diseases, including coronary artery disease,” says Dr. Kartik Mehta, cardiologist, with Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill.

“Therefore, it is important to treat all these factors aggressively when diagnosed with erectile dysfunction to reduce dangerous cardiovascular issues in the future.”

Dr. Mehta advises patients to know the warning signs of heart disease and erectile dysfunction and to take steps preventing them.

“About 1 in 5 American men have erectile dysfunction, it is more common than one may think,” he says. “Come see your doctor to discuss the issue if you are concerned, and we can explore possible treatment options and determine if you are at risk for other diseases.”

Find out your risk for heart disease by taking our simple and easy Heart Risk Assessment.

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Elan Karoll

Elan Karoll, health enews contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois. He is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying communication with a focus on media and politics. Elan enjoys cooking, travel, the outdoors, watching new movies and seeing friends. He cares about empowering people with the information they need to make smart, healthy choices.