top of page

Why erectile dysfunction in your 40s could be a sign of future heart problems

Can cholesterol plaques – the same artery-clogging stuff in your heart – be causing trouble for gentlemen down there?

(Article source:

The topic of erectile dysfunction isn’t something most men would like to openly talk about. After all, the fact that there’s a chance that things aren’t, well, rising to the occasion in the bedroom, can be a source of embarrassment for some.

But as it turns out, that’s not the only reason more men should be looking at this issue more seriously – because it could also be an indication of heart problems.

For instance, atherosclerosis – or the build-up of cholesterol plaque in the arteries – accounts for 50 per cent to 60 per cent of erectile dysfunction in men over age 60, according to Dr Sriram Narayanan, senior consultant vascular and endovascular surgeon from The Harley Street Heart and Vascular Centre at Gleneagles Hospital.

In fact, he noted that erectile dysfunction can occur approximately three years before a heart attack.

And if you think you’re way too young to even think about these things, you could be wrong. According to The Journal of Urology, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is about 40 per cent in men in their 40s.

Anecdotally, urologist Dr Ronny Tan from Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway East Hospital, added: “In my practice, I am seeing more and more younger men presenting with erectile dysfunction.”

Senior consultant cardiologist Dr Rohit Khurana, also from The Harley Street Heart and Vascular Centre, agreed that the two conditions are linked.

“There is good evidence that erectile dysfunction is the canary in the coal mine, meaning there is a higher risk of future cardiac events, stroke and mortality when erectile dysfunction occurs in younger men compared with older men.”

(Photo: pixabay/qimono)


How are the heart and penis linked? Think