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Cardiovascular Screening in Men With ED Could Save Billions

Savings seen over 20 years due to identifying men with previously unknown cardiovascular risk factors

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Screening men presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors can potentially cut future cardiovascular events and save billions of dollars over 20 years, according to a study published online March 2 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Alexander W. Pastuszak, M.D., Ph.D., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues evaluated the long-term effect of screening men presenting with ED for CVD risk factors. The authors sought to determine the cost effectiveness of such a screening protocol.

The researchers found that the relative risk of ED in men with CVD is 1.47, with the coprevalence of ED and CVD estimated to affect 1,991,520 men. Roughly 44 percent of men with CVD risk factors are not aware that they have them. Screening all men presenting with ED for CVD would identify 5.8 million men with previously unknown CVD risk factors over 20 years and would cost $2.7 billion. Avoidance of 1.1 million cardiovascular events is possible if there is a 20 percent decrease in events due to screening and treatment, saving $21.3 billion over 20 years. If the $9.7 billion savings from treating 1.1 million cases of ED is factored in, the combined reduction in acute CVD and ED treatment cost would equal savings of $28.5 billion over 20 years.

“Screening for CVD in men presenting with ED can be a cost-effective intervention for secondary prevention of both CVD and, over the longer term, ED,” the authors write.

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