Holly and Phil Discuss Viagra for Diabetes on This Morning

viagraMen suffering with type 2 diabetes could halve their risk of dying from heart problems by taking a Viagra pill every few months – possibly leading to erectile dysfunction treatments being prescribed for men with diabetes at some point in the future.

This is the astonishing finding from new research that looked at nearly 6,000 aged between 40 and 89 years of age, all of whom had type 2 diabetes.

Almost 4 million people across the UK have type 2 diabetes, with a further 12 million being at risk from developing it. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 85 to 95% of all people with diabetes and can be treated by adhering to a healthy diet and increased physical activity.

Those that have diabetes are at roughly twice the risk of developing heart disease, primarily as their hearts become less efficient over the course of time, finding it more difficult to contract and pump blood around the body.

However, many health experts have long believed that the little blue pill Viagra can help to ease these problems and boost the heart’s function, especially as it works by relaxing the blood vessels and improves blood flow to the penis.

Scientists believe it is this function that can also have a positive impact on the heart’s ability to get blood pumped to other areas of the body too.

Therefore, experts based at Manchester and Oxford universities decided to look into the subject a little further, analysing the health records of 5,956 men with type 2 diabetes. From the near-6,000 men, 1,359 took erectile dysfunction drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors – which includes Viagra.

Remarkably, the men only took Viagra for an average of about 16 times during the course of the 7-year study period, which works out at less than once per 5 months. Even with this relative infrequency of taking Viagra, the men were still found to be 46% less likely to die from heart disease.

Moreover, men who took Viagra were also 38% less at risk of a heart attack, with those who did being 40% less likely to die from it.

Dr Zoe Williams, GP, this week appeared with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning to talk about the research into Viagra and type 2 diabetes.

Dr Zoe said: “This is really interesting. This is science coming full circle.

“The reason we discovered viagra in the first place was because we were testing it as a cardiovascular drug, so to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

“They found it was very useful for people who were suffering from erectile dysfunction.”

Phil said: “People must have been surprised the first time they discovered that.”

Dr Zoe added: “In this study, researchers have looked over the past seven years at men who have been taking viagra for erectile dysfunction.

“They have found these people are 50 per cent less likely to have died from heart disease over that period.”

Holly said that was a huge amount of people.

“It works for type 1 as well but this study focuses on people who have been taking it for type 2,” added Dr Zoe.

“They are not taking it every day or every month. On average they have taken it 16 times over the past seven years.”

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