Viagra could reduce risk of heart attack, new study shows

Viagra could reduce risk of heart attack, new study shows

 

  • Research shows it can save patients from heart attack
  • Study of 6,000 diabetic patients reveals those taking the pill had less heart incidents than those who didn’t
  • Cuts heart attack risk by boosting blood flow
  • Likely to be indicated for the treatment of heart problems
Viagra

Viagra

Viagra, the novel blue pill for the treatment of impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) has been discovered to be capable of doing more than taking care of men’s bedroom affairs!

Researchers at the University of Manchester, UK, say they have found an ingredient in the drug which could prevent damage to heart cells and prolong the life of many patients.

According to the researchers, men taking the ED drug were found to have a lower risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart failure than those not on the medication.

Viagra, also known by its generic name as sildenafil,  has gained  popularity worldwide since  it was discovered more than twenty years ago  for the treatment of impotence, now referred to as erectile dysfunction.   The drug relaxes muscle cells in the blood vessels supplying the penis, allowing more blood to flow there. This increased blood flow increases the likelihood of getting an erection.

Since its discovery, a few other drugs in the same class have been introduced by other pharmaceutical companies.

Now,  researchers at  the University of Manchester say Viagra could even be of more value to patients.

The experts studied 6,000 diabetic patients who had been given Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction. They discovered that the male impotence drug  had a lower risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart failure than those not on the medication

Their findings mean Viagra could soon be used to treat hundreds of thousands of heart failure patients and even prevent fatal heart attacks, according to their report.

Prof Andrew Trafford and his team at the University of Manchester, funded by the British Heart Foundation, are hoping to show the medication can also help prevent arrhythmias – abnormal heart rhythms.

He said: “Our studies have shown that drugs normally used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra, actually have a very pronounced effect in slowing the progression of heart failure as well as reducing the likelihood of fatal arrhythmias. Furthermore, we have recently established that patients who receive Viagra or similar drugs for erectile dysfunction are also far less likely to then go on and die from a heart attack.

“These exciting findings, which were made possible by people donating to the British Heart Foundation, pave the way for future studies in patients with heart failure or at risk of developing heart failure to confirm that Viagra and related drugs are indeed helpful new tools in the fight against heart disease.”

Experts believe a key ingredient in Viagra called PDE5i, which relaxes blood vessels, also prevents damage to heart cells.

Heart failure is caused by the heart failing to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure. It most often occurs because the heart muscle has become too weak to work properly and is usually treated with medication which supports the heart.

Despite diabetics being prone to heart problems, the study showed participants did not suffer as many incidents as similar patients not on the drug.

Prof Trafford add: “Heart failure is a devastating condition which means your heart is not pumping blood around your body as well as it used to. It can really impact a person’s quality of life, and sadly up to a third of patients admitted to hospital with it will die within a year.

“Our work focuses on the reasons why the hearts of patients with heart failure fail to pump blood properly and are more susceptible to life threatening heart rhythm disturbances known as arrhythmias.”

As well as providing effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, Viagra  has also attracted interest as a potential remedy for a range of other illnesses from deadly lung disorders to cold hands.

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