Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a significant blow to a man’s confidence. Erectile dysfunction is an increasingly common issue for men over the age of 40, but even younger men are beginning to experience ED, as well. One study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine (2013) found that one in four of the 439 male participants under the age of 40 sought medical advice for ED during the two years of the study.
Erectile dysfunction is associated with multiple factors, including age, lifestyle choices and overall health. However, ED may be an indicator for more serious health issues to come, according to researchers at the University of Mississippi. Their study, also published in The
Journal of Sexual Medicine (2015), involved 1,790 participants and examined ED as a marker for increased “premature mortality risk.”
The results of the study found a shocking 70 percent increased risk for premature death in men with erectile dysfunction. Your penis may indeed be trying to warn you about your cardiovascular health! One of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction is compromised cardiovascular health, Dr. Tobias Köhler, an associate professor of urology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine explained to Men’s Health.
Men experiencing ED due to diminished cardiovascular health have a greater risk of suffering a heart attack within five years, according to Dr. Köhler. Excess plaque in blood vessels, which carry blood to the penis, is associated with poor lifestyle choices (such as smoking and an unhealthy diet), genetics and/or age. The buildup of plaque increases over time and negatively impacts sexual function; it also begins to affect the arteries, which is cause for serious concern when it comes to heart health.
If your penis is underperforming, it may be time to consult a doctor about erectile dysfunction and your cardiovascular health. Understanding the link between heart health and sexual health is vital, and no matter how embarrassing it is to drop your trousers and have a discussion with your doctor, it could save your life.
A study published in the International Journal of Hypertension (2012) discusses the common association between men with hypertension and ED. The study authors concluded, “Regardless of ED mechanism in hypertension, early diagnosis and correct approach of sexual life represent an important step of cardiovascular evaluation which certainly contributes for a better choice of hypertension treatment, preventing some complications and restoring the quality of life.”
Restoring quality of life is exactly what we all should aim for this new year, whether it is heart health, sexual health, or taking that next step toward enjoying the gift of life.
What is your penis telling you?
—The Alternative Daily