Posted in Health, news, sex

Those Needing Viagra Should Have Their Hearts Checked

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Has Again Been Linked to Heart Disease

For years, men have voiced frustration when their medical providers insisted on a cardiac workup prior to initiating an ED prescription.  Some thought it was because they’d have a heart attack during sex.  But it’s not.  Erectile dysfunction is a vascular issue, and if the vessels of the penis are compromised, how does one know his heart vessels aren’t as well?

Now in a recent study published in the Journal of Vascular Medicine, researchers found the same risk factors leading to erectile dysfunction are also culprits in heart disease.

Risk factors shared by both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Men over age 45
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Obesity


Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida International University and Baptist Health South Florida reviewed multiple studies and found a link between erectile dysfunction and compromised blood vessels whose endothelium (lining) demonstrated impaired vessel relaxation. This is necessary for both erections as well as blood flow to the heart and rest of the body.

Moreover carotid media-intima thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, appeared to be correlated to erectile dysfunction as well.

This study reminds us that if one bodily function is impaired, other organs may be quietly suffering the same impairment.

I like to credit the pharmaceutical companies that created erectile dysfunction drugs with saving millions of men’s lives as:

  1. Men who would refuse to come into any doctor’s office now had an incentive to, resulting in a long-overdue check-up
  2. Those who saw providers who required an EKG or diabetic screening, and unknowingly suffered from a serious cardiac risk factor, could now be diagnosed.
  3. ED drugs allowed those men who couldn’t enjoy sex to now get some much-needed physical activity

The study authors stated, “Our study supports a more aggressive cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management for persons with erectile dysfunction, including young men who may otherwise be categorized as low risk due to their young ages.”


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Today’s Health Headlines

“Smart bandages” will soon tell us if wound is infected

This is so cool.  The bandage has capsules that release a fluorescent dye when bacteria “toxins” make contact and permeate the capsules.  This will help providers recognize wound infection must sooner. I remember the prototype came out last year, but it looks like they are undergoing preliminary trials soon.

Texas reports first local transmission case of Zika

Texas is now the second state to have local transmission of Zika (first is Florida). Its a women who is not pregnant and lives along the Gulf Coast.

HIV vaccine being tested in Africa

The vaccine’s predecessor, back in 2009, was only 31% effective in protecting against HIV infection. This one has been tweaked and researchers hope this will work better.


Thunderstorm asthma – the perfect storm for asthmatics

6 people died in Australia from asthma after a recent thunderstorm.  They believe pollen swelled and exploded causing many more particles to be inhaled by vulnerable individuals during the windy storm.


Study links aspartame with weight gain and diabetes

For some time now, studies have pointed to diet drinks causing weight gain and diabetes, this study looked at mice, whose gut enzyme, intestinal alkaline phosphatase, was blocked by the artificial sweetener aspartame, and when fed a high fat diet, the aspartame fed mice fared worse with blood sugar and weight.

Chronic gum disease linked to erectile dysfunction
Periodontitis has been linked to heart disease and stroke, so its logical that those suffering from gum disease would have issues with most major vessels, including those instrumental in regulating erections.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Flossing Each Day May Keep the Viagra Away…


For years we’ve known that gum disease, periodontitis, has been linked to heart disease and stroke.  Chronic inflammation in the mouth can incite inflammation that affects the major arteries and conversely, poor blood circulation could lead to diseased gums.  We’ve also known that erectile dysfunction (ED) could be a sign of heart disease. If blood vessels in the heart and brain are impaired due to cholesterol, diabetes and/or high blood pressure, why wouldn’t the genital circulation be affected?  Thus poor blood flow anywhere can be a sign of diseased vessels.  Subsequently, it was just a matter of time when the link between gum disease and ED would be investigated.




Researchers at the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University in China, led by Dr. Zhigang Zhao, analyzed multiple studies with thousands of participants and concluded that erectile dysfunction was 2.28X more common in men (including those under 40 and over 59 years old) if they were treated for periodontitis.


Dr. Zhao stated, “Since chronic periodontitis had been linked with several chronic disorders, it is sensible to recommend daily inter-dental cleaning to reduce dental plaque and gingival inflammation.”  Additionally he stated, “Chronic periodontitis treatment can control or eliminate inflammation and may reduce the risk of ED.”


In March of 2013, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine discussed the same link but how Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the ED.


To prevent gum disease, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends the following:

Brushing your teeth and tongue after meals


Flossing every day (I also like to add a water pick to flush out hard-to-reach food particles)



Swishing with mouthwash (though I recommend alcohol-free mouthwash)




Know your risk (age, smoking, diet and genetics) and discuss with your dentist

Get an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) from a dental professional.


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician