Impotence may signal heart disease

Chicago: Impotence, which affects 50% of men over the age of 40, may be an early wraning of heart disease, says new research published in the journal of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Scientists at the University of Chicago who carried out a study, said four out of ten men with impotence also had badly clogged-up veins and arteries which put them at higher risk of cardiac illness as well as being a cause of impotence. The results led the researchers to believe that impotence is a better indictor of heart disease than other risk factors.

Impotence is often caused by the clogging-up of arteries leading to the penis. These narrow blood vessels become blocked earlier than the wider arteries around the heart, giving prior warning of cardiac disease. The researchers examined the results of heart tests on 221 men – more than half of whom were impotent.

They found that 43 per cent of the impotent men were at high risk of heart disease. However, only 17 per cent of subjects who were not impotent had similarly poor test scores. Impotent men also fared worse in physical tests and their hearts were found to pump less blood.