Yes, you read that headline correctly! New research shows that impotence medications may actually be good for your heart, although more studies need to be conducted to prove this benefit conclusively.
It is well established that those with erectile dysfunction run a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other problems than those without the condition.
This particular study looked at those individuals who had suffered a previous heart attack, and noted the effects of impotence medications during the following three years.
The results showed that those who were taking ED pills had a 33% lower risk of death than those that were not taking the medications, a 40% lower risk of being admitted for heart failure.
While this news is promising, especially for those who worry about taking ED medications post heart attack for fear of their negative impact, a lot more research needs to be done.
There are some factors that were not taken into account for this particular study that will be in future studies. That is to say, there may have been other reasons why these 3000 individuals (out of 43,000 total) had a lower risk of death than the others. It may not be directly related to the fact that they were taking impotence drugs.
Also, the study only included a certain type of ED medication, called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) and it was dose specific.
So we might not get the same results from other doses of the medication, and other ED pills besides these might not yield the same results as their mechanisms of action are different.
Still, the study does provide a degree of comfort for both patients and doctors, who might have been hesitant to prescribe these medications for their patients who have suffered a prior myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Before taking any impotence medication, you should always consult with your doctor. Even though this study showed that those with a prior heart attack had a lower risk of death when taking these medications, doesn't mean that you will experience the same results.
There are many other factors involved that may not apply to you, such as age, location, education, income, overall health, etc. and all of these factors can play a role in results.
Researchers do plan on expanding this study with a larger sample size and taking additional factors into account. It will be interesting to see if this study yields similar results.
We know about the many negatives associated with prescription medications...it's good to know that there may be some positives besides the intended result.