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Nursing Times clinical blog: Using erectile dysfunction to tackle heart health

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Nursing Times clinical editor Nerys Hairon on a new approach to assessing cardiovascular risk through erectile dysfunction

An article in this week’s Nursing Times offers a fresh approach to assessing cardiovascular risk – looking at erectile dysfunction in men.

While the link between ED and heart disease is fairly well established, what’s new about this is using ED to tackle the issue of CVD.

We are all familiar with the well-worn messages about healthy eating and exercise, but it’s probably the case that this kind of ‘standard’ health promotion turns patients off.

But asking men about erectile function or dysfunction – and then explaining to them that this is a sign that all might not be well in the heart department – could well have more success in preventing myocardial infarction than any other strategy.

It’s a very useful way of illustrating that here is one existing problem that could lead to another, potentially life-threatening one. Novel approaches to the CHD time-bomb are long overdue.

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