What's more, erectile dysfunction may be a risk factor for heart disease, often appearing as many as five years before a diagnosis of heart problems.
The risk factors for narrowing of the heart arteries and erectile dysfunction are really almost exactly the same: lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, diabetes, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and eating a poor diet.
Healthy lifestyles have important benefits on conditions that are especially meaningful to men, such as sexual function. Some men do not seem to be alarmed with unhealthy lifestyles causing heart attack and cancer. The enormous and expensive use of drugs for erectile dysfunction suggests that this might be an important enough issue to motivate them to adopt better lifestyle habits. It's about reaching men and women where they live, he says. Often, a man or woman will have a benefit that really engages them and the skillful clinician will find that issue and use it to change the person's unhealthy habits into healthy benefits.