A round-table meeting to discuss the management of erectile dysfunction was held in London in June. Participants heard about the cardiac safety and cardiac potential of PDE5 inhibitors, and agreed a number of points about the clinical benefits and use of these agents. This supplement contains a report of the meeting.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common. Though men are reticent about seeking help, some degree of ED is believed to affect up to 52% of men between 40 and 70 years of age. Patients with hypertension, diabetes, a history of smoking and hyperlipidaemia have an increased incidence of ED: about 70% of cases of ED have a vascular origin, and of these roughly half have diabetes. ED may be a marker for other diseases: patients who present with ED should be assessed for previously undiagnosed conditions such as diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nonetheless, 80% of patients with ED are at low cardiovascular risk.