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Erection Problems Could Point to Heart Disease

Erection Problems Could Point to Heart Disease


Although erectile dysfunction can be common among HIV-positive men for a variety of reasons, including depression and anxiety, it also could be a warning sign of underlying cardiovascular disease, researchers reported in the October 18 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Lipid and blood-sugar side effects of anti-HIV drugs could lead to both erectile dysfunction and increased cardiac risks, say Italian researchers who studied more than 140 HIV-positive men. Study subjects experiencing problems obtaining erections also had higher levels of C-reactive protein in their bloodstream, which is linked with heart disease, as well as impaired arterial blood flow or evidence of hardening of the arteries. The researchers conclude that doctors should screen all HIV-positive men experiencing problems obtaining erections for cardiac complications, even if they have no traditional risk factors for or overt symptoms of heart disease.

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