American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

Sexual Dysfunction and Coronary Artery Disease: What Applies to the Gander May Apply to the Goose

In this issue, McCall-Hosenfeld et al report that reduced sexual satisfaction in women is associated with prevalent peripheral vascular disease but not prevalent or incident coronary artery disease. Since a major study in 2005 demonstrated that erectile dysfunction in men is associated both with prevalent peripheral vascular disease and incident coronary artery disease, the findings by McCall-Hosenfeld and colleagues raise the possibility that in men, but not in women, sexual dysfunction is a “sentinel” sign of coronary artery disease that alerts the clinician to do a workup for coronary artery disease. The authors cautiously do not explicitly draw such a parallel, but readers of this journal may wonder whether the new findings in this issue warrant such a conclusion.

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— Richard D. Lane, MD, PhD, Julian F. Thayer, PhD
This article was originally published in the April 2008 issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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