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 The Heart and Sex link

New research makes a troubling connection between a man’s erectile issues and his heart health.

An Australian study of more than 95,000 middle-aged men found a direct link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease, a link that persisted even among men with no history of cardiovascular problems. According to the study, the risk of heart disease and premature death increases with the severity of a man’s ED—minor erectile difficulties could signal a relatively mild heart issue, while severe erectile dysfunction ups a man’s risk of coronary artery disease by 60%.

“Rather than causing heart disease, erectile dysfunction is more likely to be a symptom or signal of underlying ‘silent’ heart disease,” says lead study author Emily Banks, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and public health at Australian National University. And the advice is unequovical: “For men who are having problems getting or maintaining an erection, it means taking action by seeing a health professional and asking for a heart check.”

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