Depressive symptoms in men coupled with erectile dysfunction, scientists have discovered, constitutes a risk factor for a major cardiovascular event.
Erectile dysfunction and depressive mood are often associated, and both are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
To investigate clinical correlates further, researchers led by Elisa Bandini of the University of Florence studied approximately 2,000 male patients in a clinic for sexual dysfunction using a structured interview while also scoring for depressive symptoms.
Results show that in these subjects with erectile dysfunction, depression increases cardiovascular problems independently from other known risk factors.
Furthermore, even the use of antidepressant medications did not alter the relationship between severe depressive symptoms and adverse cardiovascular events.
"Recognizing depressive symptoms in subjects with erectile dysfunction is mandatory not only for improving their sexual life, but also for preventing cardiovascular diseases," Bandini noted.
The study has been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.