Erectile dysfunction in middle-aged men may be a sign of more serious health problems. Improving their cardiovascular health may improve their sex lives, too.
Middle-aged men who take steps to improve their heart health by eating better, getting more exercise, or taking cholesterol-lowering drugs may end up improving their sex lives as well, according to a new analysis of existing research.
Nearly 1 in 5 men in the U.S. has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). The new study, which appears this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that ED drugs such as Viagra aren't the only solution and aren't always enough to address the problem, says coauthor Dr. Stephen Kopecky, M.D., a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
"If you do take care of your lifestyle—eating right, exercising, losing weight—you respond much better to the Viagra, the Levitra, the Cialis," Kopecky says. By the same token, he adds, if these drugs become less effective "that should be a sign that...you need to take care of your lifestyle.'" Read more