A 2022 study1, which drew on data from the European Male Aging Study, found that erectile dysfunction was a significant predictor of mortality.
The study followed men aged 40–79 over a period of more that 12 years.
The researchers found that: “Men with sexual symptoms, especially ED, have a higher mortality risk, but this risk is not influenced by their sex steroid levels. In community dwelling men, sexual symptoms can thus be an early warning sign of a poor or worsening health status, and an indication of an increased risk for mortality irrespective of T levels.”
“Men with three sexual symptoms (erectile dysfunction, reduced morning erections and lower libido) had a higher mortality risk compared with men with none of these symptoms. Particularly, erectile dysfunction and poor morning erections, but not lower libido, were associated with increased mortality.”
The results are not surprising. One of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction is a cardiovascular or circulatory problem. ED is sometimes used as an early indicator of heart disease. A 2003 study2 found that “a significant proportion of patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease have erectile dysfunction and that this latter condition may become evident prior to angina symptoms in almost 70% of cases.”
These studies reinforce the need for lifestyle changes as a treatment for ED. Clinical studies have shown that changes in diet and exercise can reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction. These changes can also improve overall health, and reduce mortality risk factors.
If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.
For more information on improving your health and reducing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, see:
Clinical studies have shown that changing to a heart-healthy diet and getting regular aerobic exercise can reduce erectile dysfunction and improve cardiovascular health.
Along with diet and execise, there are other techniques that can improve blood flow to the penis.
- Antonio, Leen; Wu, Frederick C W; Moors, Hannes; Matheï, Cathy; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo T; Rastrelli, Giulia; Dejaeger, Marian; O’Neill, Terence W; Pye, Stephen R; Forti, Gianni; Maggi, Mario; Casanueva, Felipe F; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta; Punab, Margus; Tournoy, Jos; Vanderschueren, Dirk; the EMAS Study Group. “Erectile dysfunction predicts mortality in middle-aged and older men independent of their sex steroid status.” Age and Ageing. April 2022, Volume 51, Issue 4.
- Montorsi, Francesco; Briganti, Alberto; Salonia, Andrea; Rigatti, Patrizio; Margonato, Alberto; Macchi, Andrea; Galli, Stefano; Ravagnani, Paolo M; Montorsi, Piero. “Erectile dysfunction prevalence, time of onset and association with risk factors in 300 consecutive patients with acute chest pain and angiographically documented coronary artery disease.” European Urology. Sep 2003;44(3):360-4; discussion 364-5.