Erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to the findings of a recent study.
The researchers analyzed data from 15 studies that assessed the association between ED and endothelial dysfunction in 2025 participants using flow-mediated dilation (FMD). In addition, they examined data from 12 studies that assessed the association between ED and the carotid intime-media thickness (cIMT) in 1264 participants. Other measures of subclinical CVD included coronary artery calcification (CAC), and other measures of vascular function included brachial index, toe-brachial index, and pulse wave velocity.
Compared with participants without ED, FMD was 2.64% points lower and cIMT was 0.09-mm higher among those with ED. Age, study quality, responses to the ED assessment questionnaire, and study publication date did not affect the relationship between ED and cIMT and FMD. However, the researchers found that the association between ED and CAC were inconclusive.
“This study confirms an association between ED and subclinical CVD and may shed additional light on the shared mechanisms between ED and CVD, underscoring the importance of aggressive CVD risk assessment and management in persons with ED,” the researchers concluded.
Osondu CU, Vo B, Oni ET, et al. The relationship of erectile dysfunction and subclinical cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis [published online December 15, 2017]. Vasc Med. https://doi.org/10.1177/1358863X17725809.