Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are 38 percent more likely to have hypertension, or high blood pressure, than men without ED, according to new research.
"We’ve heard for some time that men who have ED may be more likely to have high blood pressure. This statistical analysis is the largest epidemiological study to confirm this link, and the first to compare men with ED - and those without - for hypertension," said lead researcher Peter Sun, M.D., M.S., Ph.D., Eli Lilly and Company. "Because of this connection, it is all the more important for a man to overcome his hesitation or embarrassment about ED, a condition with obvious symptoms, and see his doctor. Detecting and treating hypertension, a silent disease in many, may help prevent catastrophic events, such as stroke."
ED and hypertension share a common underlying factor - the constriction of blood vessels - indicating that ED could be a sign for larger, serious health problems. ED is often one of the first signals of poor blood flow and impaired circulation in the body. While ED is a noticeable disorder, hypertension is often silent and unknown to the patient. According to the American Heart Association, one in four adults in America has high blood pressure, with 33 percent of men affected. Of those with high blood pressure, 30 percent are unaware they have the condition.1 ED, the consistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, affects an estimated 20 - 30 million men in America with varying severity.2
"Thanks to the recent availability of more ED treatment options, increasing numbers of men are seeking help for their sexual health," said Louis Kuritzky, M.D., family physician, clinical assistant professor, University of Florida. "Visiting their healthcare professional for this condition is a perfect opportunity for a thorough examination of related conditions, including hypertension."
Lilly ICOS LLC, a joint venture between Eli Lilly and Company and ICOS Corporation, is marketing oral ED therapy Cialis® (tadalafil). Lilly ICOS coordinated an extensive statistical analysis of 51 national managed health care plans to compile evidence confirming ED patients are more likely to have hypertension than those without ED. The study was presented today at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA).
The statistical analysis compared hypertension rates among men with ED (285,436) in managed-care health plans and men without ED (1,584,230). The findings revealed that 41.2 percent of men with ED also had hypertension, compared to 19.2 percent of men without ED. Compiled from 1995 to 2002, the data came from a large national managed-care health plan claims database, which covered 28 million members from 51 health plans across the country. All subjects with ED were health plan members who had an ED diagnosis or ED treatment at or after age 18. The non-ED subjects consisted of male health plan members who were 18 years of age or older and never had an ED diagnosis or treatment. Researchers then examined the data for the effect of ED on the likelihood of having hypertension, controlling for age, geographical regions, and nine common comorbid conditions. Both prevalence rate difference (between men with ED and those without) and the odds ratio of having hypertension were calculated.