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Erectile dysfunction in congenital heart disease
  1. Graham Jackson (gjcardiol{at}
  1. Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, United Kingdom


    Sexuality is one of the most important functions of the human body, receiving a significant amount of public attention but in the cardiological arena it remains, with a few notable exceptions, one of the most infrequent areas to be evaluated. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is common, affecting at least 150 million men worldwide and as it increases in incidence with age (men over 70 years have three times the incidence compared to men in their 40s) and we are an ageing population, the challenge of evaluating and treating men with ED can only increase1. A lot of attention has been focused on the link between ED and coronary artery disease (CAD) with endothelial dysfunction being the common denominator and it is now widely recognised that ED can be a marker and possible independent risk factor for asymptomatic CAD2,3. Several studies have indentified a time window of 2-5 years between ED and an acute or chronic CAD presentation , raising the possibility that ED could be a trigger to an aggressive risk reduction strategy (ED and CAD share the same risk factors)4,5,6,7.

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