BEIJING, June 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven out of 10 men admitted to hospital for a heart attack (acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)) had erectile dysfunction (ED) in the six months prior to their admission according to new data presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) Scientific Sessions in Beijing, China.

A year-long study conducted in 2009 involving 111 sexually active men at the University Malaya Medical Centre, admitted for STEMI, demonstrated that 75.7 per cent had experienced ED in the six months prior to being hospitalized, and all patients with a prior history of ischemic heart disease had ED (Fisher Exact Test, p=0.020). Moreover, 24.7 per cent of the 81 sexually inactive men that were not recruited to the study reported complete ED for more than six months prior to screening.

ED and coronary artery disease (CAD) share many common risk factors and are closely related. Atherosclerosis, the root cause of CAD and ED, is a generalized inflammatory disorder that progresses at a similar rate throughout the vasculature of the body. Therefore, it is thought that ED should precede CAD since the penile arteries are considerably smaller than the coronary arteries.

This study demonstrates that we should consider patients with evidence of ED to be of very high risk for development of future acute coronary syndromes. Interestingly, the study also found that all patients with a prior history of heart attack and ED presented with recurrent heart attacks. Therefore, we should screen and treat such patients very aggressively, said Dr. S V Ramesh, University of Malay Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Moreover, men who are not sexually active should also be closely assessed as a quarter of them have complete ED which warrants treatment and this may also be a harbinger for CAD.

A total of 219 men were admitted for STEMI to the coronary care unit from April 2008 to February 2009. Of these, 192 were screened and only 111 who were sexually active within the last six months were recruited for the assessment of ED using the IIEF-5 questionnaire. Other indices studied include the cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, body measurements, blood results and coronary angiographic findings.

About the World Congress of Cardiology

The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. Through the Congress the World Heart Federation offers an international stage for the latest developments in science and public outreach in the field of cardiovascular health. The World Congress of Cardiology places emphasis on the complementary nature of science and public outreach and strives to spread the message that through individual, community and patient-care interventions, the growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented.

About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease - the world's number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: World Heart Federation

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