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The relationship between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease has been the cause of numerous debates and resulted in various research publications. However, there have not been many reviews recently that have compared the studies and their implications for clinical management of erectile dysfunction. Here we consider the findings from a recently published review that looked at the relationships between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

The study, which was published in The Journal of Urology, was a literature review that evaluated all studies and clinical guidelines that had been published with regards to erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases. The researchers were keen to see whether a combination of lifestyle change and use of pharmacotherapies could lead to improved vascular health and sexual functioning in men with erectile dysfunction.

Based on their methodological and statistical evaluation of the literature, the researchers concluded that there was persuasive evidence to suggest that erectile dysfunction can have predictive value for cardiovascular diseases in various populations. However, they also pointed out that finding an appropriate tool to assess these risks varied between populations. In addition to that, the researchers pointed to somewhat inconsistent findings between statins, diuretics, beta –blockers and rennin-anglotensin system modifiers and erectile dysfunction, with some studies indicating negative effects on erectile dysfunction and other studies suggesting a positive effect on erectile dysfunction. Lastly, the researchers stressed that the intervention based studies consistently demonstrated the relationship between improved vascular health and improved sexual functioning.

We were intrigued by the current study, as it addressed a large area of research in this field. Although the relationship between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction should not come as a surprise to most people, there is a clear need for further divisions between at risk populations..

The study also raised some interesting clinical concerns worth addressing. Perhaps the most important one being the possibility that erectile dysfunction may help predict whether an individual is at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. As such, it is important that the clinician establishes whether there is a need for treatment plans that can help prevent or decrease the effect of cardiovascular diseases.

It is our hope that the current findings are acknowledged and lead to clinical guidelines that have an impact on the way clinicians look at erectile dysfunction and its treatment.

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