A body of evidence from basic science and clinical research is emerging to provide a compelling argument for endothelial dysfunction as a central etiologic factor in the development of atherosclerosis and vascular disease (ischemic heart disease, stroke, and claudication). Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another prevalent vascular disorder that is now thought to be caused by endothelial dysfunction. In fact, a burgeoning literature is now available that suggests that ED may be an early marker for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The emerging awareness of ED as a barometer for CVD represents a unique opportunity to enhance preventive vascular health in men. The diagnosis of ED could become a powerful clinical tool to improve early detection of atherosclerosis and initiate prompt aggressive medical management of associated cardiovascular risk factors.
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Billups, K. Erectile dysfunction as an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Int J Impot Res 17 (Suppl 1), S19–S24 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3901425
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