A meta-analysis recently proved an old theory, which figured that blockage of already-narrow penile arteries signaled future heart problems
Two recent studies on impotence offer a clearer picture of its connection to heart disease. The bad news is that impotence increases the risk of heart disease. The good news is that the same lifestyle changes that help protect against heart disease also help combat impotence and improve sexual function.
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While many men think that impotence, also called erectile dysfunction or ED, is caused by psychological factors, a series of studies performed over the last decade suggest that for most men, impotence is due to physical causes, most commonly insufficient blood flow. These same studies showed a definite link between impotence and heart disease.
The theory was that penile arteries, which are smaller than the arteries of the heart, begin to narrow first and are an early sign of plaque buildup and blockage of heart arteries further down the road. But this was only a theory. It was well accepted that heart disease was a risk factor for impotence, but unclear whether impotence caused heart disease or was even a risk factor for it.