There is now overwhelming evidence that erectile dysfunction (ED) is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease; this requires any newly presenting patients to be thoroughly evaluated for cardiovascular and also endocrine risk factors. Those men attending their primary healthcare provider with chronic cardiovascular disease should be asked about erectile difficulties.1
ED can affect men at any age. It is a psychophysiological condition that impacts on sexual arousal. Developing an understanding of the psychological and physical effects of ED for the patient (and his partner) can assist the primary care nurse to provide a service that will be responding to the needs of a large number of men.