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Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Cut Death Rate After Myocardial Infarction

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Cut Death Rate After Myocardial Infarction

A Swedish study followed 43,145 men under the age of 80 who had suffered their first heart attack. After three years, the researchers found that the 7% of the men who had taken erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs during the study had a 33% lower risk of death than those who hadn’t taken impotence drugs.

In addition to the lower death rate, the men who had taken the ED drugs had a lower risk of being admitted to the hospital for heart failure. The benefits only applied to men who took the most common type of ED drugs, called phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

A follow-up study of nearly 140,000 men with stable coronary artery disease (such as prior coronary angioplasty or myocardial infarction) is in the works. Some researchers suggest that women should be included in future studies.

The ED/cardiovascular connection

Previous studies have shown that healthy men who have erectile dysfunction have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease than their non-impotent peers.

Why? Possibly because both conditions share the same risk factors, including:

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  • smoking
  • type 2 diabetes
  • inactivity
  • obesity

Warnings and considerations

If you’ve had a heart attack, don’t expect your doctor to casually write out a prescription for Viagra, Levitra or Cialis. Each of the common ED drugs has its own risks and warnings about who should and shouldn’t take the impotence drugs.

Men will need to talk to their doctor in detail about a history of low blood pressure, uncontrolled high blood pressure, unstable angina or congestive heart failure.

Likewise, if you’re taking certain medications, they can have a dangerous interaction with some ED drugs. This is an especially vital warning for men who take nitrates, tamsulosin hydrocholoride (Flomax) for an enlarged prostate, or alpha-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate.

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About Lisa

As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+