Erectile Dysfunction, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Risks

Facts and Controversies

Edward Sanchez; Alexander W. Pastuszak; Mohit Khera


Transl Androl Urol. 2017;6(1):28-36. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual dysfunction, and shares many risk factors with systemic conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS). ED is considered to be an independent risk factor for CVD and can be a harbinger of future cardiovascular events. Given this relationship, each encounter for ED should be viewed by healthcare providers as an opportunity to screen for CVD and other comorbid conditions, including the MetS, that can significantly affect a man's overall health. While universally accepted screening guidelines are lacking, expert panels do recommend an approach to risk stratification in men with ED. In this review, we discuss the current state of understanding of the relationship between ED, the MetS, and CV risk, and how this impacts the approach to the patient presenting with ED.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most frequently treated sexual dysfunction in men worldwide, and is defined as the recurrent or consistent inability to obtain and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.[1] ED is seen in 15% of men 40–50 years old, 45% of men in their 60s, and 70% of men over 70.[2,3] Over the past decade, an association between ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been identified. While causality remains difficult to establish, ED may be an indicator of systemic disease, with both ED and CVD stemming from a common etiology. A better understanding of this association is warranted in order to properly counsel, screen, and treat patients presenting with ED.