Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by the inability of the artery that supplies blood to the penis to expand and contract properly. The study of this mechanism has led to a new understanding of the important link between ED and the development of coronary artery disease, and to new strategies for prevention and treatment, as described in Journal of Men's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Men's Health website.
In the article "Hypertension: The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Artery Disease," Jacob Rajfer, MD, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, and Martin Miner, MD, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI, propose that hypertension negatively affects the flow of blood to both the heart muscle and the erectile tissue of the penis. In both organs it appears to be caused by age-related cell death within the smooth muscle that lines the walls of the blood vessels.
"This article further substantiates the correlation between cardiac disease, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction and provides healthcare providers with an insight into discussing the status of erectile function," says Ajay Nehra, MD, Editor-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Urology, Director, Men's Health, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.