Viagra May Help Men with Coronary Artery Disease Live Longer

Viagra May Help Men with Coronary Artery Disease Live Longer

Viagra does more than just improve a man’s sexual prowess in bed…It may also help people with coronary artery disease live longer and have a lower risk of having another heart attack, according to a new study.

“Potency issues are common in older men and now our study also shows that PDE5 inhibitors can protect against heart attacks and prolong life,” said study lead author Martin Holzmann, Professor Assistant of medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, may be linked to impaired blood flow – and may be a warning sign of heart disease in healthy men, the authors noted.

Erectile dysfunction can be treated either topically with the injected drug alprostadil, which dilates the blood vessels, or with drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, which include small blue pills and Cialis, according to Health Day.

Holzmann’s team compared the effect of alprostadil and PDE5 inhibitors in 18,500 men who had previously had a heart attack or had a procedure such as bypass or angioplasty, and who were diagnosed of “stable” coronary artery disease.

“The risk of a new heart attack is highest in the first six months (after such interventions), after which we consider the coronary artery disease to be stable,” wrote Holzmann.

Subjects started taking some form of erectile dysfunction medicine at least six months after their heart attack or heart procedure. About 16,500 men took Viagra, Cialis, or another PDE5 drug, while the rest took injected alprostadil.

Researchers followed the men’s health for an average of almost six years, during which time about 2,800 of them died.

Those who took a PDE5 drug had a 12% lower risk of death during this follow-up than men who took alprostadil, the team reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Men taking a PDE5 drug also had a lower risk of having a new heart attack, heart failure, or needing an angioplasty or bypass procedure than those who received alprostadil, according to the report, who did not. received no funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Protection was dose-dependent, meaning that the more frequently a man used a PDE5 inhibitor, the lower his risk.

Holzmann warned that the study was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, saying other factors could be at play.

“It is possible that those who received PDE5 inhibitors were in better health than those who took alprostadil and therefore had a lower risk. [of heart issues]He said as an example.

“To determine if this is the drug that reduces the risk, we would need to randomly divide patients into two groups, one taking PDE5 and one not taking it. The results we have now give us very good reasons to embark on such a study, ”added Holzmann.

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Two experts in the United States who were unrelated to the study said the results were intriguing, but stressed that more study was needed.

PDE5 drugs ‘are’ vasoactive ‘which means they have an effect on the blood vessels making them less rigid and able to vasodilate,’ Dr Guy Mintz, director of cardiovascular health at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Northwell Health in Manhasset, NY declared Health Day.

“These agents may also have anti-inflammatory effects,” he said, stressing
that “it is not therapy for all patients with coronary artery disease – only those who suffer from impotence.” ”

He added: “There is a need for follow-up studies to see if PDE5 inhibitors are directly responsible for the beneficial effects, or is the benefit due to having a partner (not being alone), an active sex life ( exercise), or a happier approach to life (a sense of well-being). ”

Dr Michael Goyfman, who heads clinical cardiology at the Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, agreed that the Swedish findings are only useful for generating theories for now, not for changing medical practice.

He suggested that the best results for men taking PDE5 hinged on their underlying health – perhaps only the sickest received alprostadil – or on their income, as the better-off could afford the medication for it. erectile dysfunction.

“While the study is interesting, it would not change the practice until more randomized controlled trials are done,” Goyfman said.

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