Impotence Among Heart Patients Not the Fault of Meds, Study Finds

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Worried that the drugs you’re taking to lower cholesterol or blood pressure might make you more apt to develop erectile dysfunction?

That’s not likely, a new Canadian study suggests.

The study involved about 2,000 men who were taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, a blood pressure-lowering medication, or both. The statin the men took was Crestor (rosuvastatin), and the blood pressure drug was a combination of candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, sold in the United States as Atacand/HCT. Comparison groups took placebos.

The nearly six-year study found no link between the drugs and the development of erectile dysfunction.

One physician who reviewed the findings said there’s a valuable lesson here for doctors and patients.

Dr. Benjamin Hirsh noted that nearly 58 percent of male heart patients in the study had already complained of impotence before they started the drug trial.

“Therefore, asking patients about erectile dysfunction symptoms prior to starting certain medications reduces the likelihood of subsequently attributing symptoms of erectile dysfunction to a new medication,” said Hirsh. He directs preventive cardiology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

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SOURCES: Benjamin J. Hirsh, M.D., director, preventive cardiology, Northwell Health's Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Nachum Katlowitz, M.D., director of urology, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; Canadian Journal of Cardiology, news release, Jan. 29, 2018

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