Some 25 million American men suffer from some form of impotence. Impotence is defined as the inability to maintain an erection adequate for satisfactory sexual performance. Although men don’t necessarily like to talk about it, impotence is a very common problem, starting at around middle age.
According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, a study of 1290 men between the ages of forty and seventy, about half of all men at one time or another experience about of impotence. The likelihood of suffering from impotence dramatically increases with age. At forty, about 5 percent of all men are completely impotent, but that number reach 15 percent by age seventy.
The good news is that most cases of impotence are completely preventable simply by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example, we know that men who smoke are much more likely to become impotent than non smokers.
We also know that coronary heart disease and diabetes greatly increase the odds of becoming impotent. The reason is simple: In order to maintain an erection, the blood must flow freely to the penis. In the arteries delivering blood to the penis become clogged due to atherosclerosis, it can become impossible to maintain an erection.
High blood pressure also dramatically increases the likelihood of impotence, for two reasons. First, high blood pressure can have a detrimental effect on circurlation. Second, many of the medication used to lower blood pressure can interfere with either sexual desire or the ability to maintain an erection.
In sum, by practicing a heart healthy lifestyle it may be possible to avoid becoming impotent.