Sexual function and cardiovascular disease

Erectile dysfunction and female sexual dysfunction are common and distressing disorders. These often coexist with cardiovascular disease and shares common risk factors, for example, age, smoking, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes.

Unsurprisingly, erectile dysfunction has proven to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The time lag of 2-5 years between erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease presentation offers a window of opportunity for investigation and intervention.

Therefore erectile dysfunction should be reviewed at cardiology consultation. Although small studies suggest an association of female sexual dysfunction with coronary artery disease, the lack of strong evidence discourages its implementation in cardiology practice. Ignorance of erectile dysfunction can cost quality of life!