A Marker of Increased Cardiovascular Risk
See related article, pp 672–678
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is now recognized as a marker of increased cardiovascular risk both acutely and chronically and considered an early manifestation of generalized vascular disease predicting all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, coronary events, stroke, and peripheral artery disease in men with and without known coronary artery disease.1 Importantly, ED shares with coronary artery disease similar risk factors and is principally vasculogenic, reflecting the common denominator of endothelial dysfunction.2 ED is defined as the inability to obtain or maintain a penile erection to support satisfactory sexual performance, and when affecting men with and without cardiac symptoms in the age group 30 to 60 years seems to be a significant predictor of subsequent cardiovascular events.
Vlachopoulos et al3–5 have over several years studied the independent link between ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD) using biomarkers as a means of identifying the men most at risk of a cardiovascular event. Their latest contribution to the expanding and important literature identifies aortic stiffness as a marker of increased cardiovascular risk in men presenting with ED (this issue).6 Previously, the same workers have identified the unfavorable effect on the circulating levels of biomarkers …