Recent studies have suggested a link between heart disease and erectile dysfunction in men. When your cholesterol level is elevated atherosclerotic plaque (fat and cholesterol) can accumulate in blood vessels throughout the body. The blood vessels in the penis are smaller than the blood vessels in the heart so plaque build up could affect the smaller blood vessels first. Men who have decreased blood flow to the penis caused by narrowed blood vessels can experience erectile dysfunction. According to a recent article from the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings (April 2009) men who experience erectile dysfunction between the age of 40 to 49 have twice the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction have an 80% increased risk for heart disease, no matter what their age. So any man who suffers from erectile dysfunction should also have their risk for heart disease evaluated.