Diagnosis and management of erectile dysfunction (ED) improves health outcomes for men with comorbid diseases, and vice versa, according to research published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Richard E. Scranton, MD, MPH, of Clinical Scientist Consulting in Framingham, Mass., and colleagues conducted a literature review to examine how diagnosis and effective treatment of ED affects overall management of selected ED comorbidities, with a focus on the role of medication adherence.

Improved adherence and management of comorbid diseases may result from diagnosis and successful treatment of concomitant ED, the researchers found. Management of ED may improve outcomes, including treatment outcomes, decreased health care costs, and possible prevention or reduced deterioration of comorbid medical conditions. Noting that ED predicted comorbidities, especially cardiovascular disease, early ED diagnosis may prevent future cardiovascular events. Screening, monitoring, and appropriately treating diseases comorbid with ED was found to be essential for men presenting with complaints of ED. Screening and treating ED was important for enhanced quality of life and improved motivation for those with comorbidities or risk factors.

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“Appropriate management of ED and its risk factors may have beneficial effects on diseases that are comorbid with ED, and vice versa, most likely via shared pathophysiological pathways,” the authors wrote. “Clinicians may need to consider men’s health overall, of which sexual health is a central component, in order to provide optimal disease management.”