Do you know what the leading cause of death is for men? The CDC reports that 24.4 % of men in 2015 died from cardiovascular disease. This makes it the leading cause for death of all men in all ages and races. There are some key factors that may indicate your risk for heart disease.

A Big Risk Factor for the Leading Cause of Death in Men:

The first sign that you could be at risk for heart disease is if you have erectile dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for a satisfactory sexual experience. Contrary to popular belief, ED is not just a sign of aging. Instead, it is a sign that there is a larger physical issue at play. Because both the penis and the heart are vascular organs, ED might actually be a sign of poor cardiovascular health. Johns Hopkins states that “Because arteries [in the penis] are much smaller than the heart’s, arterial damage shows up there first—often years ahead of heart disease symptoms. Men in their 40s who have erection problems (but no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease) run an 80 percent risk of developing heart problems within 10 years.” If you are having symptoms of ED, it might be time to see a doctor. It is likely that it is a sign that you are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

Additional Risk Factors:

Along with ED, low testosterone has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease as well. An expert at Johns Hopkins writes “Having a low testosterone level is often thought of as just a diminished sex drive, but it’s increasingly seen as being linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.” Monitoring your testosterone levels could be an important part of heart health.

Lastly, the most commonly known risk factor for heart disease is stress. Because stress, anxiety and anger raise blood pressures, they can restrict blood flow to the heart. Working on anger management and effective communication can be vital in times of stress. Johns Hopkins states that “In the two hours after an angry outburst, for example, your risk of a heart attack is nearly five times greater and your risk of stroke three times higher, research has shown.” In general, men who are prone to anger or hostility have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease:

Unsurprisingly, the best way to prevent heart disease is to eat right and exercise. Harvard Health states “Staying trim probably means you are eating a healthy diet; this also helps to keep ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in check. Staying active reduces stress and helps prevent the unhealthy behaviors associated with it, like overeating. Healthy eating and exercise also help you to keep your blood pressure in line.” Staying away from cigarettes and alcohol will help too.

Another thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart health is relax. We know that angry outbursts increase your risk for heart attack or stroke; managing anger can be key to maintaining a healthy heart.

Are you experiencing some of the risk factors for heart attack or stroke? If so, talking to a provider about ED, low testosterone or stress could help you reduce your risk of death. They can also give you suggestions about how to prevent the disease. Book an appointment today at Complete Care Health Centers.