Men presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED) may benefit from screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new cost-analysis study shows.

Researchers aimed to examine the costs of screening men with ED for CVD risk factors and the cost savings of treating these men at risk. The relative risk of ED in men with CVD was 1.47 and the coexistence of of both ED and CVD was present in nearly two million men; about 44% of men with CVD risk factors were unaware of their risk.

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Screening men with erectile dysfunction for cardiovascular disease would identify 5.8 million men with previously unknown heart-related risk factors over 20 years, which would cost $2.7 billion to screen. Over one million cardiovascular events would be avoided, which would save $21.3 billion over 20 years (assuming a 20% decrease in CV events from screening and treatment). Additionally, $9.7 billion would be saved with the 1.1 million cases of erectile dysfunction that would be treated.

The study’s findings support the recommendations of the Princeton Consensus Conference that encourages cardiovascular risk stratification in men with erectile dysfunction. Screening for CVD may be a cost-effective method in the long-term prevention of CVD and ED, authors conclude.

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