Erectile dysfunction, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risks: facts and controversies
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual dysfunction, and shares many risk factors with systemic conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS). ED is considered to be an independent risk factor for CVD and can be a harbinger of future cardiovascular events. Given this relationship, each encounter for ED should be viewed by healthcare providers as an opportunity to screen for CVD and other comorbid conditions, including the MetS, that can significantly affect a man’s overall health. While universally accepted screening guidelines are lacking, expert panels do recommend an approach to risk stratification in men with ED. In this review, we discuss the current state of understanding of the relationship between ED, the MetS, and CV risk, and how this impacts the approach to the patient presenting with ED.