This is how Viagra can help you live longer

accreditation
Could Viagra help you live longer?
Could Viagra help you live longer?

Once you’ve had a heart attack, getting back your sex life can feel scary. But it might come with an important health benefit – especially if you use certain erectile dysfunction (ED) 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.

Read more: Why you shouldn’t take Viagra for ‘fun’

Researchers followed more than 43 000 men for three years who were hospitalised for a heart attack. Of these guys, 7% were prescribed meds for ED. The researchers discovered that men who were treated for ED were 40% less likely to be hospitalised for heart failure, and were 33% 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% 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.

Read more: This breakthrough treatment is the Viagra of the future

That’s important, because otherwise, the link between premature death and ED treatment might be explained by sex itself – seeking treatment for ED might indicate a more active sex 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.

Read more: What to do if Viagra doesn’t work

Still, more research is needed to clarify the link, as well as to study whether having untreated ED, or an active sex 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.

This article was originally published on  www.menshealth.com

Image credit: iStock   

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1684 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
52% - 8618 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 5738 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 550 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.19
+0.4%
Rand - Pound
19.64
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.62
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE