Currently Viewing:
ACC 2017
Marijuana Use Linked to High Risk of Heart Failure, Stroke
March 09, 2017
Ceramides Can Predict Who Will Develop Heart Disease, Study Finds
March 10, 2017
Currently Reading
Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Are Safe After Heart Attacks
March 11, 2017
Repatha Found to Cut CV Death, Heart Attack, Stroke 25% After a Year
March 17, 2017
Bringing MACRA to Cardiologists, Ready or Not
March 17, 2017
Low-Dose Xarelto Beats Aspirin for Long-Term Prevention of Life-Threatening Blood Clots
March 18, 2017
Dr Robert P. Giugliano on the Results of the EBBINGHAUS Evolocumab Cognitive Study
March 18, 2017
Data Show It's Hard to Fill PCSK9 Prescriptions, Confirming Cardiologists' Complaints
March 19, 2017
Can SGLT2 Inhibitors Prevent Heart Failure in a Broad Population?
March 19, 2017
Dr Rob Nolan Discusses Findings From REACH Hypertension eCounseling Trial
March 19, 2017
Dr William Borden: Advice for Cardiologists on Adjusting to MACRA
March 19, 2017
Dr Janet Wright Outlines Goals and Roadblocks of Million Hearts Initiative
March 20, 2017
Charting the Path to Health Equity: Steps for Providers
March 20, 2017
Dr Jim McDermott Discusses Objectives and Outcomes of CVD-REAL Trial
March 20, 2017
Dr Seth J. Baum on the Patient's Role in Getting PCSK9 Inhibitors Approved by Payers
March 20, 2017
Dr Robert P. Giugliano Discusses the Significance of the FOURIER and EBBINGHAUS Trials
April 06, 2017
Dr Janet Wright Discusses How Million Hearts Will Leverage Partnerships for Success
April 06, 2017
Dr Seth J. Baum Discusses Payers' Reluctance to Approve Coverage of PCSK9 Inhibitors
April 07, 2017
Dr Rob Nolan on the Future Directions of eCounseling Research
April 14, 2017
Dr Janet Wright on Cardiologists' Role in Public Health and Prevention Efforts
April 15, 2017
Dr William Borden Discusses MACRA Requirements From a Cardiologist's Perspective
May 08, 2017
Dr Seth J. Baum on the Patient's Role in Getting PCSK9 Inhibitors Approved by Payers
May 10, 2017
Dr Rob Nolan Explains Behavioral Principles Behind eCounseling Hypertension Program
May 15, 2017
Dr Rob Nolan Discusses Behavioral Foundations of eCounseling Programs
June 10, 2017

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Are Safe After Heart Attacks

Mary Caffrey
The study from Sweden found a substantial benefit for men taking the class of drugs that was discovered by accident when researchers were developing a treatment for angina 2 decades ago.
A study from Sweden has found that phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, prescribed to men for erectile dysfunction, are good for the heart in more ways than we knew: those who took these drugs after having a heart attack had a much lower risk of dying or being hospitalized for heart failure than men who skipped them.

The study, being presented next week at the 66th Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in Washington, DC, finds that men prescribed drugs from this class—sold in the United States under brand names Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra—were 33% less likely to die from any cause than those who were not prescribed the drugs.

The study, previewed for reporters in a conference call earlier this week, evaluated data from 43,000 men for an average of 3.3 years after their first heart attack. No survival benefit was seen among men taking alprostadil, an erectile dysfunction therapy with a different mechanism of action.

Peter Andersson, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and the study’s lead author, said the results are welcome news for men and their doctors who may have wondered about the safety of the drug class. “If you have an active sex life after a heart attack, it is probably safe to use PDE5 inhibitors,” Andersson said in a statement.

While the findings were described as a surprise, in a sense they aren’t: the first PDE-5 inhibitor, sildenafil (Viagra) was discovered by accident about 2 decades ago when investigators were trying to develop a new treatment for angina. But when a reporter asked Andersson if he could recommend PDE-5 inhibitors to treat heart failure, the doctor demurred, since the study was retrospective. “Not at this time,” he said.

Having an active sex life appears to reduce the risk of death, Andersson said, although he said a key limitation of the study was the fact that the data did not report the men’s marital status. More work is being done to zero in on the marital and socioeconomic status of those who benefit from taking the drug.

Of the large group studied, 7% were prescribed some type of erectile dysfunction drug. In this subset, 92% received a PDE-5 inhibitor and the remaining 8% received alprostadil. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors that included diabetes, heart failure, and stroke, those taking the PDE-5 inhibitors were less likely to die than those taking alprostadil or no drug at all. Filling more prescriptions appeared to increase the benefit, but Andersson said that the study was not large enough to confirm a dose-response relationship.

Andersson said erectile dysfunction is associated with increased heart disease risk in men who are otherwise healthy, and previous studies have linked the use of PDE-5 inhibitors with decreased blood pressure in the left ventricle. This reduces the level of work needed to pump blood and could explain their effect on men with heart failure.

Reference

Andersson DP, Lagerros YT, Grotta A, Bellocco R, Lehtihet M, Holzman MJ. Association between treatment for erectile dysfunction and death or cardiovascular outcomes after myocardial infarction. Presented at the American College of Cardiology 66th Scientific Session, Washington, DC, March 17-19. 

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2019 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
x
Welcome the the new and improved AJMC.com, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up