This health video is looking how the onset of heart disease could have a connection to the cause of ED (erectile dysfunction).
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Dr. Frank J. Costa: As you know, in patients with cardiovascular disease or hypertension, there is some increased risk of plaque forming in the arteries. So the the blood flow to the sexual organs are also compromised and that can manifest itself as a dysfunction in the sexual arena as erectile dysfunction. Dr. Anthony Douglas: Heart disease is the number thing that I find with most men with erectile dysfunction. Dr. Frank J. Costa: A patient with cardiovascular disease or heart disease is two times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than the normal population. A person with hypertension or high cholesterol levels, these are all conditions in which erectile dysfunction can occur at a higher rate than somebody in the normal population without these conditions. Dr. Randall B. Meacham: That's one more good reason to treat high blood pressure, not just because of the impact of the man's overall health, but his ability to have normal sexual function. Dr. Jeffrey Brady: A lot of men don't like to go to see physicians, so they'll come in, looking for that magic pill that may help them, back to their younger days. What we end up finding is that they have high blood pressure or potentially other risk factors, they're a little bit overweight, they smoke. So we will try to encourage that patient to see a primary care physician or a cardiologist to be evaluated for that. Certainly, if they have any chest pain, angina or those types of things that we have in our screening, we would not even prescribe medications for that child until they had clearance. Dr. Anthony Douglas: A part of the problem is this. Sometimes, the medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure also cause erectile dysfunction. But a sort of the damage that might already be done at that point and it's kind of hard to reverse it if you treat the underlying disorders. Now treating the underlying disorders is going to save your life, but it might not fix your erectile dysfunction. Dr. Jeffrey Brady: You maybe able to treat the hypertension differently, so that the medicine that's treating the hypertension doesn't have the side effect of erectile dysfunction. But I don't think, in and of itself, just the initial treatment is going to making your erections as good as when you were 20 years old. Now in the long term, I think there is significant benefit to treating and controlling hypertension to maintain what erectile function you have. Think of a gentleman who has hypertension, and just says, I don't care about it, I just want my erections treated. Those erections that maybe better with the medicines now, the pills now may not be as responsive in five years, because the hypertension is added to the problem that gave him his erectile dysfunction. So, I think, there are two answers to that. On the short term, just treating hypertension probably does not improve erections right away, but on the long term, it certainly can have an effect at keeping what erectile function you do have.