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With Viagra, is there any reason to be concerned about impotence?

It’s common for men over 60 to have difficulty maintaining erections. Two studies, one from Italy and one from the US, show that men who are impotent before that age are at significantly increased risk for heart attacks (JAMA, December 21, 2005; Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 18, 2005.)

The most common causes of impotence are arteriosclerosis and diabetes. Less common causes include low levels of the male hormone, testosterone, or a brain tumor. So every man who is impotent before age 60 should check with his doctor and get blood tests for arteriosclerosis and diabetes. The tests should include cholesterol, homocysteine, Lipoprotein A, C-reactive protein and HBA1C. They also should get blood tests for testosterone and prolactin, the test for a brain tumor. Since most impotent men will have arteriosclerosis or diabetes, they may need to take appropriate medications, but they certainly should be exercising and follow a heart-attack- preventing diet.

Heart-healthy diet
More on impotence

January 8, 2006

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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