How Taking Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Can Help Your Heart

Once you’ve had a heart attack, getting back your s*x life can feel scary. But it might come with an important heath benefit—especially if you use certain erectile dysfunction drugs to get there.

That’s because taking ED drugs like Viagra after a heart attack might protect your heart and cut your chances of dying prematurely, new research from Sweden suggests.

Researchers followed over 43,000 men for three years who were hospitalized for a heart attack. Of these guys, 7 percent were prescribed meds for erectile dysfunction (ED).

The researchers discovered that men who were treated for ED were 40 percent less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure, and were 33 percent less likely to die of any cause during the follow up.

But then the scientists delved a little deeper into how the patients were treated for their ED, and a clearer picture emerged. It seemed that only men taking oral ED drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra or Cialis, had the longer-living benefit. Men taking PDE5 inhibitors after their heart attack were 38 percent less likely to die during follow up than those not taking any ED medicine, or than those taking alprostadil, an injectable ED drug. In fact, there was no link between risk of early death and alprostadil use.

That’s important, because otherwise, the link between premature death and ED treatment might be explained by s*x itself—seeking treatment for ED might indicate a more active s*x life, which could contribute to, or be a sign of, a more healthier lifestyle overall.

But the fact that the longevity benefit was seen just in guys taking PDE5 inhibitors seems to suggest that it may be something with how that specific class of drug works that’s protecting the heart. And the researchers have a few theories: PDE5 inhibitors may reduce the stiffness in your arteries, as well as allowing for more blood flow to your heart.

Still, more research is needed to clarify the link, as well as to study whether having untreated ED, or an active s*x life without taking ED meds, might have played a role. In the meantime, guys who have had a heart attack can rest assured that taking ED meds like Viagra is likely a safe choice, the researchers said in a press release.

Source: Men’s Health

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