NWRHA director warns: Erectile dysfunction could be sign of heart disease

Dr Anthony Parkinson

Director of health of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) Dr Anthony Parkinson has said erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter and urged men to take the condition seriously, warning it may be an early sign of heart disease.

Parkinson was speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual covid19 media briefing on Wednesday.

He said as Trinidad and Tobago observes World Heart Day, everyone should take active steps to protect themselves not only from coronavirus but also non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

He said while the covid19 pandemic has occupied the focus of most of the world’s public health systems, NCDs like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension continued to be challenges to different countries.

Parkinson also urged people to be aware of the early warning signs of these diseases and take steps to control them.

“We need to reach out to people to make sure we catch diseases before they get worse.

“If you have any erectile dysfunction right now and you’re healthy, check your doctor. It could be the early warning sign of heart disease – and I’m not making jokes about that. It’s a very important thing.

“Check your doctor – you don’t want to die prematurely.”

Parkinson said infection from covid19 could damage the heart through inflammation and encouraged people to defend themselves against infection by getting vaccinated.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said TT was one of the unhealthiest places in the Caribbean. He said one of the major causes of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic has been heart disease and other NCDs.