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Is erectile dysfunction prevalent in men with cardiovascular disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You have probably heard the phrase "a canary in a coal mine." But you probably haven't heard it used in reference to erectile dysfunction. However, some doctors say erectile dysfunction is a bit like those often-doomed birds.

In the past, miners used to bring canaries into tunnels. If the canaries died, the miners knew noxious gas was lurking. Likewise, there is evidence that erectile dysfunction is not only a frustrating sexual problem, but also a warning that a man may have heart disease. One study found that men with erectile dysfunction doubled their risk for heart attacks.

This really isn't so surprising. After all, clogged arteries can cut off blood flow and destroy cardiac tissue, causing heart attacks. At the same time, clogged arteries can cut off blood flow to the penis, making erections difficult and even impossible.

Erectile dysfunction isn't only a problem for your love life. It can also be a clue that you have serious underlying health problems. See a doctor for a full check-up if you have been having problems with erections.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.