Impotence is a major warning sign of potential heart failure, according to a new study by top Austrian scientists.
"The penis is the antenna of the heart," said Dr Stephan Madersbacher, head of Urology at the Danube Hospital in Vienna.
Dr Madersbacher found that men who experience moderate to serious erectile dysfunction had a 65% higher risk of a heart attack within 10 years.
And the risk of a stroke was found to be 43% higher in impotent men, in the study which was run in conjunction with the city council.
Dr Madersbacher said: "When erectile dysfunction is diagnosed by a urology specialist the patient should definitely be given a check up by a specialist in internal medicine."
He said the reason for the link is the similarity between the muscle and blood vessel cells of the penis and those in the heart. Damage to one is often an indicator of damage to both.
"If your penis is functioning well in terms of potency it is also a good sign of a healthy heart," added the doctor.