Introduction: In spite of the mounting interest in the nexus between erectile dysfunction (ED) and cardiovascular (CV) diseases, there is little published information on the role of ED as a predictor for subsequent CV events.
Aim: This study aimed to investigate the role of ED as a predictor for atherosclerotic CV events subsequent to the manifestation of ED. Method. The investigation involved the retrospective study of data on a cohort of men with ED linked to hospital morbidity data and death registrations. By using the linked data, the incidence rates of atherosclerotic CV events subsequent to the manifestation of ED were estimated in men with ED and no atherosclerotic CV disease reported prior to the manifestation of ED. The risk of subsequent atherosclerotic CV events in men with ED was assessed by comparing these incidence rates with those in the general male population.
Main outcome measure: Standardized incidence rate ratio (SIRR), comparing the incidence of atherosclerotic CV events subsequent to the manifestation of ED in a cohort of 1,660 men with ED to the incidence in the general male population.
Results: On the basis of hospital admissions and death registrations, men with ED had a statistically significantly higher incidence of atherosclerotic CV events (SIRR 2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.9, 2.4). There were significantly increased incidence rate ratios in all age groups younger than 70 years, with a statistically highly significant downward trend with increase of age (P < 0.0001) across these age groups. Younger age at first manifestation of ED, cigarette smoking, presence of comorbidities and socioeconomic disadvantage were all associated with higher hazard ratios for subsequent atherosclerotic CV events.
Conclusions: The findings show that ED is not only significantly associated with but is also strongly predictive of subsequent atherosclerotic CV events. This is even more striking when ED presents at a younger age.