The Huntington Institutes of Medical Research Presents a Groundbreaking Study Examining the Impact of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs on Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events and Mortality | News


PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 13, 2022–

According to a study presented May 13 at the American Heart Association Scientific Meetings in Reston, Virginia.

Scientists from the Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI) in Pasadena, HealthCore Inc. and the University of California, San Francisco analyzed the health records of more than 70,000 men with erectile dysfunction. They compared the rates of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and death in men who took phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5i) inhibitor drugs, including Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, to rates in men who had never taken these drugs.

“We initially viewed this study as a study of cardiovascular safety, but were surprised to see the association between the use of these drugs and significant beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes,” said lead researcher Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD, Chief Scientist and Scientific Director of Cardiovascular Research at HMRI. “These drugs may have cardioprotective effects that could possibly go beyond their current uses.”

“Our research represents the first time that the effect of PDE-5i drugs on cardiovascular health has been explored in a large population of relatively low-risk men with erectile dysfunction in the United States,” said the co-investigator. Julia E. Bradsher, PhD, MBA, President and CEO of HMRI. “The number of patients involved gives us great confidence in the results.”

Among men who took PDE-5i drugs for erectile dysfunction compared to men who did not take these drugs, Kloner’s study identified:

  • 39% reduction in deaths from heart disease,
  • 22% reduction in unstable angina,
  • 17% reduction in heart failure,
  • 15% reduction in the need for revascularization procedures such as angioplasty, stenting and bypass surgery,
  • 13% MACE reduction, and
  • 25% reduction in deaths from all causes.

Additionally, men who received more than one PDE-5i drug experienced greater reductions in MACE, including a 55% reduction in MACE in those with the greatest amount of pills dispensed compared to those with the lower quantity.

Kloner and his co-investigators—Bradsher; Eric Stanek, Christopher L. Crowe, Mukul Singhal, and Rebecca S. Pepe of Healthcore Inc.; and Raymond Rosen of the University of California, San Francisco – pulled anonymized patient records from a large database of commercial and Medicare insurance claims in the United States. The study, funded by a grant from Sanofi, looked at records over about 14 years.

Since the study was retrospective, Kloner noted that more research is needed to prove that the PDE-5i drugs caused the reduction in cardiovascular events that he and his co-investigators observed. “To prove causation, a prospective randomized clinical trial using placebos should be performed,” he said. “But there are signals that suggest this might be the case, especially given the fact that we have seen a dose response. The higher the dose, the lower the rate of cardiac events.

If PDE-5i drugs are proven to cause these effects, they could provide new therapies that would help prevent a number of adverse cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure and coronary heart disease-related death. Kloner noted, “Another focus of our research is investigating new therapies to reduce heart attack size or reduce heart failure after a heart attack. Such therapies have the potential to save thousands of lives.

To find out more about HMRI’s biomedical research initiatives, visit

Notes for the media

The study was presented as an abstract titled “The effect of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors on major adverse cardiovascular events and mortality in a large cohort of men with erectile dysfunction from a National Insurance Database: A Retrospective Study” at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care & Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions on May 13.

Journalists wishing to interview the lead investigator should contact Audrey Chittick at [email protected]

About HMRI

The Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI) strives to improve the lives of millions of people through patient-focused scientific research. We conduct life-changing studies of the heart, the brain, and the vascular intersection between the two. Our scientists seek solutions to daunting cardiovascular and neurological challenges, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, migraine and mental illness. For more information, visit

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CONTACT: Audrey Chittick

mPR, Inc. for the Huntington Institutes of Medical Research

[email protected]



SOURCE: Huntington Institutes of Medical Research

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 05/13/2022 14:01 / DISK: 05/13/2022 14:02

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.


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