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What underlying medical conditions or disorders are most likely to lead to ED?

Men with certain underlying medical conditions face a significantly higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular disease, which includes atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque on the inner wall of arteries, is perhaps the most closely connected to ED. Also closely related to the cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure, a condition characterized by reduced blood flow due to constricted arteries. However, a number of other diseases and disorders can put a man on the fast track to ED.

Diabetes, a disease in which the body is unable to produce or respond to insulin naturally, takes a serious toll on both blood vessels and the nervous system, both of which play a key role in erectile function.

Although the connection might seem very tenuous, obstructive sleep apnea is also likely to increase a man’s risk of ED. In OSA, the tissue at the back of the throat collapses, blocking the airway. This leads to a start-stop pattern in breathing, which in turn makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Although the link between OSA and impotence is not fully understood, some medical scientists have theorized that insufficient sleep decreases the body’s production of testosterone, leading to a decrease in the sex drive and difficulty in getting an erection.

About the Author

Mark Delano is the Managing Editor and handles all day to day operations for HealthyMale.com. He is a personal fitness trainer, nutritionist and avid mountain biker who also enjoys exploring the trails of Arizona. Besides his everyday duties at HealthyMale, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men’s health.

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