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[From Black Voices]

Commercials for drugs like Cialis and Viagra are mainstays on television these days, but the condition they treat — erectile dysfunction — is hardly something that comes up in casual conversation. In fact, despite the mainstream popularity of the medications, erectile dysfunction, which is characterized by an inability to maintain an erection long enough to have sex, still causes great embarrassment and shame for men who suffer from it.

Things are no different in the black community, even though research has suggested that black men are up to 20 times more likely to have ED than whites. There might be less of a stigma surrounding the condition if more men knew what caused it, and, most importantly, what other health issues it can predict, Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, urologist and author of ‘Sensational Sex In Seven Easy Steps,’ told Black Voices.

Studies have conclusively shown that ED is a very strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, two diseases that disproportionately affect the black community.

“If we raise the awareness that ED is an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease,” Shabsigh said, “It would help remove the stigma and help improve men’s health.”

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