- SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Impotence in men caused by blood flow problems may
be the first sign of heart disease even in the absence of other symptoms,
- Researchers presented their findings
Sunday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting. The study
suggested that patients with impotence caused by blood flow problems would
benefit from a heart exam, particularly if there was a family history of
- ``We already know that impotence can
be the first sign of diabetes, kidney failure or neurological diseases
such as multiple sclerosis and lumbar disc disorders,'' said Dr. John Mulhall
of the Loyola University Medical Center.
- ``The new findings of a link between
impotence and heart disease provides another important reason why men should
undergo a thorough health examination rather than simply take measures
or medications like Viagra to treat the impotency,'' he said in a statement.
- The study of 42 men between the ages
of 35 and 55 found that patients with penile blood flow problems were more
likely to show cardiac abnormality after an exam by a heart doctor even
though they reported no symptoms other than impotence.
- About half of men between the ages of
40 and 70 in the United States suffer from some degree of impotence. The
problem affects 10 percent of men worldwide and is more common among older
men as well as those with high blood pressure, diabetes and neurological
disorders as well as those who have had prostate cancer surgery.
- ``This latest study indicates that certain
patients with impotence diagnosed as being the result of serious penile
blood flow problems, particularly those men who also have a first-degree
blood relative with coronary artery disease, could benefit from evaluation
by a cardiologist,'' Mulhall said.
- Impotence has been a hot item lately
following the release of the world's first impotence pill Viagra from Pfizer
Inc. Since its launch in March it has become one of the most prescribed
medications in the United States.