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Innovation

Turns out you do need Viagra like a heart attack

Guys, if you're having trouble with sex, you may have a problem Viagra won't fix.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Guys, if you're having trouble with sex, you may have a problem Viagra won't fix.

A study published this week in Circulation delivered the bad news.

Researchers at the Medical University of the Saarland in Germany looked at people in two hypertension drug studies who also had erectile dysfunction (ED).

Those who had ED were most likely to die of a heart attack, stroke or other heart problem -- they called it a "potent predictor of all-cause death."

In other words if you have ED, you may have advanced heart disease. You are twice as likely to die of it as someone without ED.

The two studies examined were TRANSCEND, which was testing an angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) on people who had trouble with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and ONTARGET, which tested the two drugs in combination.

Full disclosure. I presently take a daily pill which combines an ARB with a Calcium Channel Blocker (CCB), called EXFORGE, which works well on my hypertension. (I also take a generic statin.)  I don't have ED.

The main recommendation from all this is that doctors should ask about ED when they're doing a work-up on heart disease. So you don't have to ask your doctor about ED anymore. They should ask you.

And if you answer yes, your doctor may start looking for other risk factors and treating you as a heart patient, not just as someone looking to have a good time.

One word of warning. The two studies the German doctors looked at were of patients who already had heart disease, which is why they were seeking ARBs and ACE inhibitors in the first place. If you're young and healthy and your ED problem isn't a regular thing, the solution may lie elsewhere. Like your head.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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