Erectile issues an early sign of disease
By John Elder
Many men would rather die than talk about their unreliable penises. But if they don't listen to their faulty erections, chances are they'll have a heart attack and die down the track.
Men with erectile dysfunction are at the same level of risk of developing heart disease as smokers. It's also a very early indicator of diabetes.
''Erectile dysfunction is the canary in the coal mine for men's health,'' says Professor Rob McLachlan, director of Andrology Australia and deputy director of endocrinology at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne.
''It serves as an early warning system for diabetes and heart disease. Many of the diseases which affect the blood vessels and nerves in men, the first manifestation he might have won't be chest pain … it will come years before with the onset of erectile problems.''
An Australian National University study found men with severe erectile dysfunction had a 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher chance of ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and other heart troubles. In January, a paper in The Lancet labelled the limp love tool a "health problem" linked to diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, metabolic syndrome, depression and lower urinary tract symptoms.
An Andrology Australia survey of men aged 40 and over found 21 per cent reported significant erectile problems, with 10 per cent unable to have erections at all.