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ED Associated with Heart Health, Diabetes, Depression at Every Age

Fluorescent Healthy Habits sign.

Making healthy lifestyle decisions can help support heart and erectile health while also protecting you against diabetes.

A recent study finds that erectile dysfunction diagnoses are closely associated with heart disease, diabetes, and depression in men who are 18 and older. Although age remains an independent risk factor, the study says that, regardless of age, men diagnosed with ED are more likely to suffer from one or more of the other medical conditions than men with no ED history.

From two national health claims databases covering roughly 48 million American men, researchers selected 9.8 million males who met the study’s inclusion criteria. The databases covered claims filed between January 2010 and December 2015, but the research team focused on claims filed  from January 2011 through December 2014 to allow for 12-month pre- and post-index adjustments.

6 Percent of Those Studied Had ED

Of the 9.8 million men selected for the observational phase of the study, 573,313, or 6 percent, were ED patients; the remaining 9,266,265 were non-ED patients. Although the rate of ED diagnosis increased with advancing age, ED patients had a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression diagnoses than non-ED patients in all age groups.

Researchers published their findings in the April 2018 issue of the “International Journal of Clinical Practice.”  In the conclusion to their article, researchers recommended that “conversations with patients concerning ED should be comprehensive regardless of patient age,” particularly among patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and/or depression.

Cardiologist Elaborates

In an article posted at Mindbodygreen.com, cardiologist Joel Kahn, M.D., elaborates on the relationship between healthy erectile function and true whole body health. He cites data indicating “that identifying a man with diabetes who is unable to have a satisfactory erection predicts the presence of diseased arteries and future heart events several years before a heart attack or heart death . . .” This, says Kahn, is a more accurate predictor “than asking about smoking, blood pressure, or even a family history of early heart disease.”

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Kahn’s sentiments echo those of Steven Lamm, M.D., author of “The Hardness Factor.” According to WebMD.com, Lamm believes that the most accurate measure of a man’s overall health is his erect penis. Lamm said that even when male patients can’t be persuaded to quit their unhealthy habits for the promise of longer life, the promise of improved erectile function is enough to get them back in line.

ED Offers Critical Health Warning 

In recent years, multiple studies have pointed to ED as an accurate predictor of future cardiovascular disease. After all, the single biggest cause of ED is insufficient blood flow to the penis, which accounts for roughly 80 percent of all impotence. And blood flow to the penis is compromised when the arteries that supply it become clogged with fatty plaques. Because the arteries that supply the penis are smaller than those that feed the brain and heart, it’s hardly surprising that problems show up here first. Ignore those warning signs, and you may in time face more serious health problems in the form of a heart attack or stroke.

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About Don Amerman

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Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+