A penis is not just a penis.
One of the things that was covered quite comprehensively at the Sexual Medicine Society of North America meeting I recently went to was the topic of how erectile dysfunction (ED or when a man can’t get an erection) can be a marker for cardiac disease. Let me explain:
There is a huge association between ED and coronary heart disease (CHD). We know that CHD is a marker for ED and consequently, ED is a predictor for future CHD especially in younger (40s) patients. One study that took into account the age of the patient when he develops ED showed that if you are young (40s) and have ED, you have double the risk of having CHD versus if you are older (70s) when you develop ED.
We know that there are common risk factors between ED and heart disease such as:
- Age >40
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle (couch potato)
So, the message is if you have any of the above, you have a greater chance of developing ED. And if you have ED, you need to make some lifestyle changes or at least get checked to prevent heart disease. On the plus side, if you are healthy, and prevent the development of the above conditions, your risk of developing ED and CHD is lowered. So yes, it’s a bit simplified, but the penis is a measure of cardiac health.