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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 627278, 11 pages
Review Article

Erectile Dysfunction and Hypertension: Impact on Cardiovascular Risk and Treatment

1Department of Clinical Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, 20551030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Departamento de Clínica Médica, Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto, Rua Vinte e Oito de Setembro, 77 sala 329, Vila Isabel, 20551030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 3 November 2011; Revised 15 February 2012; Accepted 24 February 2012

Academic Editor: Wille Oigman

Copyright © 2012 Valter Javaroni and Mario Fritsch Neves. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common complaint in hypertensive men and can represent a systemic vascular disease, an adverse effect of antihypertensive medication or a frequent concern that may impair drug compliance. ED has been considered an early marker of cardiovascular disease. The connection between both conditions seems to be located in the endothelium, which may become unable to generate the necessary dilatation in penile vascular bed in response to sexual excitement, producing persistent impairment in erection. On the other hand, the real influence of antihypertensive drugs in erectile function still deserves discussion. Therefore, regardless of ED mechanism in hypertension, early diagnosis and correct approach of sexual life represent an important step of cardiovascular evaluation which certainly contributes for a better choice of hypertension treatment, preventing some complications and restoring the quality of life.