A new study found that Viagra can help men live longer, while reducing the chances of a serious heart attack.
The researchers tested the drug, often referred to as the “blue pill”, on men with coronary artery disease – a condition that leads to a blockage or interruption of the heart’s blood supply due to a buildup of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.
And they found that the men who took Viagra not only lived longer, but they were also less likely to have a new heart attack.
While the cause of the link remains unclear, the researchers hope the findings will encourage men with coronary artery disease to discuss the possibility of taking Viagra with their doctor.
Impotence is often an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease in healthy men, and it can be treated with two types of medications.
First, men can be given an injection of alprostadil, which expands blood vessels until the penis is hardened. Alternatively, men may be offered PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, which are taken orally that inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) in the penis, leading to increased blood flow and erections.
PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, lower blood pressure and were not previously recommended for men with coronary artery disease due to the risk of heart attack.
However, in 2017, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that men who had previously had a heart attack tolerated PDE5 inhibitors well and also extended life expectancy.
In this new follow-up study, researchers analyzed 18,500 men with stable coronary artery disease who were being treated for ED – 16,500 of them used Viagra, and 2,000 of them took alprostadil.
The analysis revealed that the men who took Viagra lived longer, and had a lower risk of experiencing a new heart attack and heart failure than those who took alprostadil.
This effect appears to be dose dependent, with repeated doses of Viagra being less dangerous.
Dr Martin Holzmann, who led the study, said: “This indicates a causal relationship, but the registry study cannot answer this question. It is possible that those who received PDE5 inhibitors were healthier than those who took alprostadil, and thus had risks. To confirm whether it is the drug that reduces the risk, we will need to randomly assign patients to two groups, one taking PDE5 and the other not. Our findings provide a very good reason to initiate such a study. ”
While the cause of the link remains unclear, the researchers hope the results will encourage more men to consider taking Viagra.
“Problems with potency are common in older men, and now our study also shows that PDE5 inhibitors may protect against heart attacks and extend life,” said Dr. Holzman.
Source: Daily Mail