Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States and worldwide. For the man who regularly consults with his doctor, however, heart disease and its potentially fatal consequences are usually avoidable. Dr. Waseem Chaudhry is a preventive cardiologist at the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health Center.
Q: Why do men experience having a heart attack earlier than women do?
A: Heart attack is so much more common in men than women. It also presents 7 to 10 years earlier, and 1 in every 4 men die of a heart attack every year in the U.S.
Q: Can you explain the relationship between erectile dysfunction and the risk for heart disease?
A: The same process that goes on in the vasculature in erectile dysfunction is also involved in vascular health in the coronary arteries as well. So if the lining of the blood vessels is affected and you have problem there, you can have the same problem in the coronary blood vessels as well. Blockages form in the erectile dysfunction mechanism as well. Same thing happens in the coronary artery disease. Usually when erectile dysfunction kicks in, it takes about 4 to 5 years. It’s just a matter of time before the heart attack presents itself.
Q: As a preventive cardiologist, how do you help men identify these risk factors?
A: At Tallwood Men’s Health, we have a preventative program where we use personalized cardiac risk assessment and evaluation from traditional risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and also the blood markers. We also get objective data from coronary artery calcium scoring. These factors help us to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.