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ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION NEWS
Strategies for Saving on Prescription Drugs
News reports and anecdotal evidence indicate that the recession is prompting many people to skimp on prescription drugs, putting their health at risk now and setting them up for higher medical expenses in the long term. So now is a good time to take a hard look at what you spend on prescriptions and figure out how you can make that money go farther.
The average brand-name prescription cost an eye-popping $120 in 2007, according to the most recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That was up from $111 the year before. The average generic in 2007 was a mere $34, according to Kaiser. These days you can buy many generic drugs for as little as $4 for a 30-day supply at WalMart or Target, and many other retailers are offering steep discounts.
Switching to generics is obviously one of the best options, if your doctor approves. But generics aren’t the answer in every case. So before you go to the pharmacy, or your drug Web site, consider these strategies for lowering your prescription bills.
Erectile dysfunction linked to heart risk
Men who experience erectile dysfunction between the ages of 40 and 49 are twice as likely to develop heart disease, U.S. researchers say.
A study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., finds that men with erectile dysfunction have an 80 percent higher risk of heart disease.
"The highest risk for coronary heart disease was in younger men," Jennifer St. Sauver says in a statement.
St. Sauver suggests that younger men and their doctors may need to consider erectile dysfunction a harbinger of future risk of coronary heart disease and take appropriate steps ward prevention.
The investigators identified 1,402 men who lived in Olmsted County, Minn., in 1996 who didn't have heart disease. Every two years for 10 years, the men were assessed for urological and sexual health.
The baseline prevalence of erectile dysfunction in study participants was: 2.4 percent in men aged 40-49; 5.6 percent in men aged 50-59; 17 percent in men aged 60-69 and 38.8 percent in men 70 years and older.
After more than 10 years of follow-up, the study found that men with erectile dysfunction were 80 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to men without erectile dysfunction.
The finding, published in The Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also found the highest risk of new heart disease was seen in the youngest study participants -- those age 40-49 -- who had erectile dysfunction.
Viagra May Shield Heart From Blood Pressure Damage
Tests in mouse hearts show that sildenafil, the key ingredient in Viagra, may shield hearts from damage caused by high blood pressure, a new study suggests.
Investigators said that sildenafil appears to influence RGS2, a single protein essential in the reactions that initially protect the heart's blood-pumping function from spiraling into heart failure. The findings, published online Monday in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that sildenafil may prove useful in the treatment or prevention of heart damage due to chronic high blood pressure.
"Sildenafil clearly prolongs the protective effects of RGS2 in mouse hearts," senior investigator Dr. David Kass, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release.
After a week of inducing high blood pressure in the mice, the team found that the hearts engineered to lack RGS2, or regulator of G-protein signaling 2, expanded in weight by 90%, and almost half of the experiment animals died of heart failure. In the mice with RGS2, the dangerous muscle expansion, known as hypertrophy, was delayed, growing by only 30%, the researchers found, and none of those mice died.
Later testing showed that treating hypertensive mice that had RGS2 with sildenafil showed enhanced buffering, less hypertrophy, and stronger heart muscle contraction and relaxation. In addition, these mice showed as much as 10 times lower stress-related enzyme activity compared to their untreated counterparts. The study also found that sildenafil had no effect in mice lacking RGS2.
The study involved more than a half-dozen experiments, all performed within the last three years, designed to zero in on RGS2's role in stalling hypertrophy.
"The evidence is piling up that unbridled Gq signaling is driving a central biological chain reaction in heart failure, and that by extending the protective effects of RGS2 or by developing a test for its presence, researchers can develop new therapies or improve existing ones, including ACE inhibitors and possibly sildenafil, for people with heart failure who will benefit most," Kass said.
Doctors currently use so-called ACE inhibitor and ARB inhibitor drugs to block Gq signaling. These drugs are the most common treatment for heart failure, which afflicts more than 5 million Americans each year, killing more than a quarter million of them, according to the study.
Moderate alcohol benefits erectile function
‘Brewers droop’ is a myth and alcohol in moderation may actually increase sexual performance, say the authors of a new Australian study.
A survey of 1500 men in WA found that rates of erectile dysfunction were about 30% lower among men who drank within NHMRC guidelines - and even among binge drinkers - compared to ex-drinkers.
However rates of erectile dysfunction were high in very heavy drinkers.
The findings suggest that there is no justification for advising men with erectile dysfunction to discontinue or reduce modest alcohol intake, the researchers say in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (online 8 January).
“For those who are drinking, [GPs] should advise this group of patients to keep to guidelines for low risk drinking, not only for cardio-protective effects, but also to minimise the risk of erectile dysfunction,” the study’s author Dr Kew-Kim Chew from the Keogh Institute for Medical Research in Perth told 6minutes.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) drinking guidelines for men recommend no more than four standard drinks per day over a five day period.
“For those who are not drinkers, it is not necessary for them to start thinking about drinking. Alcohol for some people might not be ideal,” Dr Chew said.
There was no primary objective to this study and therefore no mechanism to shed light on the results. Instead, the paper was part of a wider questionnaire study on ED prevalence in Western Australia and associated socio-demographic factors.
From the epidemiological data gathered, information was also obtained and published on the connection of ED to cardiovascular disease, its relation to smoking, and finally, alcohol consumption.
In the study on cigarette smoking, smokers and former smokers were shown to have significantly higher odds of ED than ‘never’-smokers.
“Looking at these two very common social habits, the benefits of both have very divergent implications,” said Dr Chew.
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