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70% Higher Risk of Dying Early
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June 9, 2016
By S. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Erectile dysfunction has long been looked at by scientists almost like
sagging skin --- it's bothersome but it's not exactly a medical
emergency.  That view is now changing.  

A new study from the University of Mississippi has confirmed one of our
core beliefs at Mangoboss --- erectile dysfunction is not just a sexual
problem, it's a health emergency.

In 2015, scientists from the University of Mississippi looked at 1,790
men ranging in age from 20 to 85. They studied these men for almost 8
years (93 months).

At the start of the study, 557 of the men had erectile dysfunction.

At the end of the study, 244 of the men had died.  Comparing the
"deceased" list with the list of the men who had ED at the start of the
study, the researchers discovered an alarming fact. Those who had ED
were 70% higher death rate.

This study raised ED to the category of an urgent health issue. The
scientists warned that "patients with ED should be screened and
possibly treated for complications that may increase the risk of
premature death."

There are some problems we have with the Mississippi. For one thing,
to determine whether a man had ED, he was asked the question "How
would you describe your ability to get and keep an erection adequate
for satisfactory intercourse?"  However, erectile dysfunction can occur
in men who do not have intercourse. That is, men who masturbate only
can also experience ED. Moreover, ED can have not only physical causes
but psychological causes. Some men are unable to maintain an erection
when they are having intercourse--- perhaps because of anxiety or  
lack in interest in the sex partner or perhaps because they are
distracted --- yet these same men can ejaculate when they masturbate.

So, the question which was asked by the Mississippi researchers did not
take into account ED caused by psychological factors.

Erectile Dysfunction Is a Worldwide Health Emergency

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem experienced by men,
especially as they age. Estimates are that 30 million men have ED in the
US alone. And the disease is going to get worse, especially in teh
developing world. Projections are that by 2025, 322 million men will
have ED, with most of those in Asia, South America and Africa,
according to a 2003 study from St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Starting at age 40 and up to age 70, 50% of all men have either partial
or total erectile dysfunction.

Why Does ED Raise Your Risk of Dying Early?

The reason that ED raises your risk for premature death were not
precisely addressed in the Mississippi study.  But plenty of other studies
have suggested the connection.

Artery Dysfunction and Erectile Dysfunction Are the Same Disease

Studies have found that erectile dysfunction shares the same risk
factors as those that cause dysfunction to your artery walls. The artery
walls, called the "endothelium" help to move blood through your blood

According to a 2005 study from the Center for Sexual
Function/Endocrinology, Lahey Clinic North Shore, Peabody,
Massachusetts, the risk factors that cause endothelium dysfunction are:

  • smoking

  • diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes)

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • obesity

  • hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat "triglycerides in the blood).

These are exactly the same risk factors for ED.

Other scientists are even more direct. A 2003 study from led by Dr. H.
Solomon of the St. Thomas' Hospital in London, entitled "Erectile
dysfunction and the cardiovascular patient: endothelial dysfunction is
the common denominator" states flatly that men must control their
cardiovascular risk factors in order to treat ED.

Increase Your Lifespan and Improve Your ED at the Same Time

Clearly, addressing each of the risk factors that cause endothelium
dysfunction will also help to resolve ED.

Stop Smoking Now

Smoking doubles your risk for ED, according to a 2005 study led by Dr.
Naomi Gades from the Mayo Clinic. This study looked at 2,115
Caucasian men between the ages of 40 and 79 years old. Men who
never  smoked, men who currently smoke have a 2.74 times higher risk
for ED.

Men who currently smoke have the highest risk for ED, But even men
who have smoked at one time and who have quit have a 40% higher
risk of ED than men who have never smoked.

The study also found that your risk fro ED increases the longer you
have smoked.

The More Severe Your Diabetes, the More Severe Your ED

in 2010, researchers from Gujarat Ayurved University, in Jamnagar,
India set out to learn the connection between diabetes and ED.

They conducted a survey of 53 diabetic men which found that an
astonishingly high 69.81% of the men had ED.  Importantly, the
researchers also connected the severity of the ED to the severity of teh
diabetes.  As they concluded "age and chronicity of DM [Type 2
diabetes] were directly related to the severity of ED".

What this study and others points to is that, the more you control your
Type 2 diabetes, the more you will control your ED.  

For severe Type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe insulin
injections. For less severe diabetes, you may be able to lower blood
sugar levels by following a healthier lifestyle, such as

walking at least 40 minutes a day

getting to a healthy body weight and maintaining it

limiting the amount of refined carbohydrates you eat (sugar, white
bread, potato chips, flour)

monitoring your blood sugar levels

Control Your Blood Pressure to Successfully Treat ED

Having high blood pressure puts you at increased risk for erectile
dysfunction, according to 2012 study from Georgia Health Sciences
University, in Augusta, Georgia. Both conditions are linked to or caused
by vascular dysfunction and arteriosclerosis (blocked arteries).

But perhaps even more significant, having hypertension actually puts
you at risk for severe erectile dysfunction. This was the conclusion of a
2000 study from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia
University in New York.

High blood pressure risk factors include heredity and age. But the most
important risk factors are dietary and exercise related. Eating a diet
high in salt and low in potassium not only increases your risk fro
hypertension but are also significant factors for ED (Read more about
foods that increase erectile performance.)

Normal blood pressure is between 100 and 120 mg/dL. Mild
hypertension starts at 140 mg/dL and severe hypertension starts at
160 mg/dL. (Read more about the Top 7
side effects of high blood
pressure in men.)

Avoid the Double Killer Foods to Treat ED and Lengthen Your

Some foods are far worse than others in worsening your odds for
getting ED and shortening your life.  These include salt, potato chips or
french fries, and meats with saturated fats.  

To be as clear as possible, if you have ED, the following foods should
no longer be a part of your life:

  • potato chips or any other fried carbohydrates such as french fries

  • Macaroni and cheese

  • fatty meats such as pork chops or steaks

  • heavy cheeses

  • foods prepared with heavy cheeses such as pizza or certain types
    of burritos and tacos

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Eating foods rich in saturated fat and
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