What's the latest on whether Viagra causes heart attacks?

At the 2006 American College of Cardiology meeting, doctors from Italy reported that Viagra may actually help prevent heart attacks in diabetics. After one week of taking Viagra daily, diabetics had significantly increased blood flow to their hearts and a marked reduction in C- reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, a leading cause of heart attacks. No data show that Viagra causes heart attacks and much data show that Viagra may prevent them.

Why then are there so many lawsuits from people who claim that they suffered heart attacks when they took Viagra? Because the heart attack victims claim that the doctor should not have prescribed Viagra to people who have weak hearts that cannot withstand the stress of making love. The rapid heart rate associated with excitement is due to stress hormones, not the markedly increased circulation of blood associated with vigorous activity.

May 1, 2006

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