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The Villages
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Impotence linked to heart attack risk

By Gabe Mirkin, MD

Two recent studies show that men who are impotent are at increased risk for heart attacks and should immediately change their lifestyles to help prevent a future heart attack. Men who are impotent usually have blood tests indicating high risk for heart attacks: higher levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol (International Journal of Impotence Research, published online December 19, 2013).

Beware of a doctor who treats impotence with testosterone and does not recommend an evaluation for heart attack risk factors. Testosterone will not prevent a heart attack. Men who are impotent and have low testosterone levels are at significantly increased risk for developing or dying from heart attacks (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, November 2013;98(11)).

Men who are impotent often have:
* Plaques blocking their arteries leading to their hearts (Int Urol Nephrol, 2008;40(1):117-23).
* Much higher calcium scores than age-matched men who were not impotent. Calcium scores indicate the size of plaques measured in arteries; a test used to predict a future heart attack.
* Abnormal coronary angiograms, a test for blocked arteries leading to the heart and for coronary artery ectasia, a ballooning of arteries that signifies arterial damage (International Journal of Impotence Research, May/June 2011;23:128-133)

Impotent men between the ages of 40 and 49 are twice as likely to develop heart disease and already have an 80 percent higher risk of heart disease (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, February 2009). If you are impotent, check with your doctor and start a program that includes:
* losing excess weight,
* exercising regularly,
* severely restricting red meat, sugared drinks, sugar-added foods and fried foods,
* eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables,
* getting blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D above 75 nmol/L,
* growing larger muscles,
* avoiding smoking and second-hand smoke, and
* taking no more than two alcoholic drinks a day.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager.


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