New insights into hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction

Nunes, Kenia Pedrosa and Labazi, Hicham and Webb, R. Clinton (2012) New insights into hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 21 (2). pp. 163-170. (

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Purpose of review Erectile dysfunction is recognized as a quality-of-life disorder that needs to be treated. Currently, it is estimated to affect as many as 30 million American men. Thirty percent of hypertensive patients complain of erectile dysfunction. The understanding of common mechanisms involved in the cause of erectile dysfunction associated with hypertension, and the investigation of antihypertensive drugs that impact erectile dysfunction, will provide important tools toward identifying new therapeutic targets that will improve the quality of life for patients in these conditions. Recent findings Hypertension and erectile dysfunction are closely intertwined diseases, which have endothelial dysfunction as a common base. During hypertension and/or erectile dysfunction, disturbance of endothelium-derived factors can lead to an increase in vascular smooth muscle (VSM) contraction. Hypertension can lead to erectile dysfunction as a consequence of high blood pressure (BP) or due to antihypertensive treatment. However, growing evidence suggests erectile dysfunction is an early sign for hypertension. Also, some phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction can improve BP, but the link between these conditions has not been totally understood. Summary This review will discuss the interplay between hypertension and erectile dysfunction, exploring newest insights regarding hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction, as well as the effect of antihypertensive drugs in erectile dysfunction patients.