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:
- type 2 diabetes
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.