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IMPOTENCE is a strong predictor [...].

IMPOTENCE is a strong predictor of heart attack and death among high-risk patients, German researchers have said. The study of 1,519 men who already had cardiovascular disease found those who were also impotent had twice the risk of a heart attack or death as the rest. The University of Saarland report, published in the journal Circulation, suggests men with impotence should be checked for cardiovascular disease.

Some experts want doctors to ask about impotence in over-40s health checks.

Impotence is linked to inadequate blood flow in the penile arteries. These are much smaller than coronary arteries.

The study followed men from 13 countries who already had cardiovascular disease. It monitored whether they went on to have heart attacks or strokes. The participants were also asked about their erectile dysfunction at the start, after two years and after five years.

As well as being twice as likely to die or have a heart attack, those with impotence were also 10% more likely to have a stroke and 20% more likely to be hospitalised for heart failure, after adjusting for factors like age and smoking. Lead author Michael B|hm said men who take medication to treat impotence should also be checked for cardiovascular disease, but this does not always happen.

"The medication works and the patient doesn't show up anymore," Mr B|hm said. "These men are being treated for the erectile dysfunction, but not the underlying cardiovascular disease."

The study confirms previous research.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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