A recent study preformed by Baylor College of Medicine researchers emphasized the importance and benefits that men with erectile dysfunction can take advantage of when being screened for heart disease. According to the findings, screening for cardiovascular disease can be a cost-effective intervention to prevent both cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction over the long term.
The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine under the title “Erectile Dysfunction as a Marker for Cardiovascular Disease Diagnosis and Intervention: A Cost Analysis.”
Erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to develop and maintain penile erection during sexual activity, affects around 18 million men in the United States. This particular study found that if those presenting erectile dysfunction were screened for cardiovascular disease, a significant 5.8 million men suffering with previously unknown heart-related risk factors could be identified over the next 20 years. Assuming there would be a 20 percent decrease in cardiovascular events as a consequence of screening and treatment, in the next 20 years $21.3 billion would be saved, since 1.1 million cardiovascular events would be avoided. Further, as a positive consequence of cardiovascular disease treatment, 1.1 million erectile dysfunction cases would be addressed and $9.7 billion would be saved. The total savings would represent more than $28 billion over a period of 20 years.
The lead author of the study, Alexander Pastuszak said in a press release: “These findings further substantiate the recommendations of the Princeton Consensus Conference encouraging cardiovascular risk stratification in men with erectile dysfunction. We can now highlight the economic benefits of this screening approach and its impact on the healthcare system.”
The prevalence of erectile dysfunction has a strong connection with not only cardiovascular diseases but also diabetes, age and a lack of physical activity. Previous research found that lifestyle modifications, more physical activity and the adoption of measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes may be useful in preventing erectile dysfunction conditions. Men aged between 70 and older are much more likely to evidence erectile dysfunction when compared to younger men, as only 5 percent of men aged between 20 and 40 suffer from the condition. Furthermore, erectile dysfunction can also be associated with psychological conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety.