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Drugs like Viagra could reduce heart problems in people with type 2 diabetes

Men who have type 2 diabetes and a high risk of heart disease demonstrate greater survival if they have been prescribed drugs like Viagra to treat impotence.
Researchers from Manchester and Oxford universities studied nearly 6,000 men aged between 40 and 80 who had type 2 diabetes.
1,359 of those studied were prescribed drugs to treat erectile dysfunction known as PDE5 inhibitors. This group of drugs include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
Throughout the seven-year study period, the medicated group were prescribed the drugs on average about 16 times and were found to be 46 per cent less likely to die of heart disease.
The findings, which have been published in the a BMJ journal Heart, also suggested the drugs lowered the risk of heart attack by 38 per cent and those who did were 40 per cent less likely to die as a result of a heart attack.
Speaking to the Mail Online, Professor Andrew Trafford, of Manchester University, who worked on the research, said: “Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease so treatments that could reduce that risk are urgently needed.
“Erectile dysfunction treatments like Viagra are already licensed for use so, if trials provide further evidence of a life-saving benefit, it might be possible to start treating people with this drug in the not too distant future.”
The researchers are keen to investigate whether the drugs could have a similar effect on women, although Viagra is not currently licensed for females.
The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and Professor Jeremy Pearso, from the organisatio, said: “Viagra was originally being developed as a cardiovascular treatment in the UK.
“Researchers were looking at its use in people with high blood pressure and angina… so it’s promising to see we may have rediscovered its potential in fighting heart disease.”

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