Is erectile dysfunction a marker for cardiovascular disease?
There is now significant evidence that erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a symptom of cardiovascular disease, and can act as a marker for disease progression. National Health Service (NHS) prescribing restrictions on treatments for ED have recently been reviewed by the Department of Health, and current arrangements will not change. Unrestricted availability of licensed treatments for ED on the NHS, irrespective of the cause of the ED, may encourage men to present for investigation, enabling early detection of cardiovascular disease. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra), an effective treatment for ED, can also have a direct beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease. Unrestricted NHS availability of ED treatments such as sildenafil could facilitate greater achievement of National Service Framework targets for coronary heart disease.