As a baby boomer, you thought it was tough enough to share with your doctor that you experience erectile dysfunction. Now comes word that ED might put you at greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems.

HealthDay reporter Ed Edelson writes about a report, published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, that illustrates the importance of bringing up ED with your physician:

Perhaps the upside of this report is that more men may get checked for cardiovascular disease. As frustrating as erectile dysfunction can be, there are treatments, including medication. But a stroke can cause paralysis and a heart attack can kill you. You need to make sure the blood is circulating properly.

With or without erectile dysfunction, it’s a good idea to get your heart checked. A contributor to this blog, Dr. Steven A. Schnur, author of “The Reality Diet,” says you need to start asking your doctor for heart check-ups in your 30s, but sooner “if you have a family history of coronary disease or if you have risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. In addition, if you have new symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or passing out.” You can check out more from Dr. Schnur by clicking the “Ask the Specialist” tab on the right side of this blog’s main page.