man sitting with a doctor

More than 80% of men are more concerned with heart disease than erectile dysfunction, according to a Cleveland Clinic survey, but men may not know that the two can be closely linked. A Loma Linda University heart specialist and urology specialist break down what changes in urology health may be signaling about other health issues.

One of the most common warning signs of cardiovascular issues in men starts with erectile dysfunction (ED). Both the heart and urology of a man are connected in more ways than most men think. ED is considered a vascular problem because the heart pumps blood that moves to many male organs that highly depend on that blood flow. When that blood flow is hindered by blockages in the vascular system, it affects ED. 

Anthony Hilliard, MD, a Loma Linda University International Heart Institute cardiovascular disease specialist, says he often sees impotence and vascular disease come in a pair. 

“Men who have ED have a high incident of vascular disease,” Hilliard says. “One of the organs that is affected by vascular disease is the heart. If men have issues with ED, they should definitely check their vascular health.”

Another change in urology functions men should look out for is changes in urination. Herbert Ruckle, MD, Loma Linda University urology department chair, says this as well as ED can signal health issues such as type 2 diabetes. 

“I wish more men understood the interconnectedness between the two,” Ruckle says. “Knowing they are so connected could help men make lifestyle changes that can keep them in great urology and heart health.”

Both Ruckle and Hilliard say the best prevention is diet and exercise. Eating healthy can help ensure that your vascular system is clear, and exercise can help keep your heart healthy. Ruckle says diet leads to appropriate body mass that is protective against the negative side effects that can occur with diabetes and is also facilitative for getting up and moving around. 

If you have questions about your personal care, feel free to schedule a doctor’s appointment with your primary care doctor by calling 909-558-6600. If you would like more specific information about heart or urology, visit the Loma Linda University International Heart Institute’s website or the Loma Linda University urology website.