New Study Finds That Impotence Drugs May Decrease Death Rate, HF Hospitalization After MI

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Mar 20, 2017 01:51 PM EDT

Previous studies on the topic have revealed that healthy men suffering from impotence run an even higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to men who do not have these conditions. (Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A recent study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet suggests that common impotence drugs may have a life-prolonging effect on patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction. The new study finds that impotence drugs such as Viagra could have these life-prolonging effects on persons who have suffered this condition.

The finding of the study also suggests the need for further studies to investigate the effect of impotence drugs in heart attack patients, rather than only persons who suffered from impotence. The researchers suggest that the potential group of future study participant should include women.

According to Science Daily, more than 20 percent of men who are between the ages of 60 and 70 are suffering from impotence. The report also states that previous studies on the topic have revealed that healthy men suffering from impotence run an even higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to men who do not have these conditions.

It is said that the reason behind this is because both conditions share the same risks factors such as smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and inactivity. In the current study, the study authors investigated into how drugs used to treat impotence affect survival after a myocardial infarction, which is something that is previously unknown.

The study was conducted on 43,145 men below the age of 80 years in Sweden who have suffered a first heart attack between 2007 and 2013. The researchers noted that over seven percent of the study participants took impotence drugs during the study follow-up of three years. They found that the risk of death in the study group was 33 percent lower in participants who had been given impotence drugs when compared to participants who had not received the treatment.

The researchers added that aside from recording a lower mortality rate, these participants in the treatment group also had a 40 percent lower risk of being admitted to hospital for heart failure. However, they noticed that these effects manifested only in participants who received the most common type of impotence medication such as phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitors like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, according to Medical Express. These, therefore, indicates that it may be that these medications account for the reduced mortality rate.

"Our most important finding is that it's harmless to prescribe these drugs to men following a heart attack and that it may possibly even prolong their lives and protect against heart failure," a physician and an associate professor at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Medicine in Solna, Martin Holzmann said.

Meanwhile, the researchers stated that the findings of the study should be interpreted with caution as there was no information on several other potentially impacting factors. They are already planning a follow-up study, which will be conducted on almost 140,000 male patients with stable coronary artery disease, such as prior myocardial infarction or coronary angioplasty. The findings were published in the scientific journal Heart.

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