Erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs may do more than just improve bedroom performance. Dr. Daniel Andersson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that men who took drugs to combat their erectile dysfunction had a 33 percent reduced risk of dying within three years of their first heart attack when compared to men not taking these drugs.
The researchers examined health records and found 43,000 men who had experienced a heart attack between 2007 and 2013. The records showed which men had filled prescriptions for ED drugs—seven percent of the men had received an ED prescription and nine out of ten of them received PDE5 inhibitors, which are specifically the type of ED drug in question. They were then followed for three years to monitor their health.
In addition to a 33 percent reduced risk of death, Dr. Andersson also reported that the men taking these drugs had a 40 percent reduced risk of further hospitalization after heart failure. Not only that, but he found that there was a “dose-dependent relationship between the amount of dispensed PDE5 inhibitors and increased survival.” This means that the more PDE5 inhibitors the man in question is taking, the more of an effect they will have on improving their heart health. However, it’s important to note that these results are preliminary and need to be studied further.
Dr. Andersson and his colleagues thought they would find that the ED drugs would increase the risk of heart problems, but in fact, they found the opposite. Dr. Marta Gulati, chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, believes that these findings “should give some comfort to men who have had a heart attack but want to use these meds to improve their sex life.”
However, even though the study shows some benefit associated with the ED drugs, it isn’t necessarily a causal relationship. There is a chance that the people who use ED drugs are healthier than those who do not take ED drugs as they may not pursue sex.
Regardless, the researchers believe that the findings are not enough to promote ED drugs as heart remedies, and more research needs to be done in the future.