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Erectile problems and cardiovascular disease

An insight and understanding of the condition, associated risk factors and treatment is necessary to provide effective care, writes Ian Peate.

There is much evidence to support the fact that erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with cardiovascular disease. Viachopoulos et al explained that, in the patient with cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction is common.1 Knowing this means that any man who presents with issues associated with ED must be thoroughly evaluated for cardiovascular and also endocrine risk factors. It is essential that men with chronic cardiovascular disease attending their primary healthcare provider are asked about erectile difficulties. The heart is usually just one of the sites affected in generalised arteriopathy, which will likely impact on arterial inflow to the corpora cavernosa (see Figure 1).

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