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If you are experiencing trouble with your penis, is your heart and arteries soon to follow?

According to a new study in the December 2009 Journal of Sexual Medicine, erectile dysfunction can be a risk indictor for coronary artery disease (CAD). The study was conducted using 183 patients with newly diagnosed and documented heart disease and 134 participants without heart disease. Adjustments in the study were made for potential confounding factors such as age, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and diabetes. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction in CAD-positive and CAD-negative groups was 88.5% and 64.2% respectively.

The results revealed a significant association between severe erectile dysfunction and CAD. This difference suggests that erectile dysfunction could be considered a surrogate marker for CAD.

“This study indicates that poor sexual health, in addition to being detrimental to men’s overall health, can help predict substantial underlying health issues,” says Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The clinical study suggests that erectile dysfunction could be considered a predictor for CAD. Identifying erectile dysfunction as a sign of heart disease can have a substantial impact on men’s health and help establish preventative measures.