(NaturalNews) Fears that men with chronic heart failure might risk their lives by having sex are overblown, and even those taking Viagra may be safe engaging in sexual activity if they are receiving the proper medical care, according to a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Researchers Stacy Mandras and Mandeep Mehra conducted a meta-analysis of studies of sexual activity in men with coronary artery disease. They found that in middle-aged men both with and without such disease, the increases in heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate were well within the safe range. The highest heart rate during sexual intercourse, in fact, was actually lower than the maximum heart rate achieved simply in the course of daily activity.
The researchers also reviewed the results of studies on erectile dysfunction in men with chronic heart failure. They noted that erectile dysfunction may arise from reduced blood flow to the penis, and that certain drugs used to treat chronic heart failure might actually exacerbate this problem.
They then reviewed studies on the safety of sildenafil (brand name Viagra) for patients with congestive heart failure. Because medications for erectile dysfunction also have an effect on blood vessels and circulation, they can be dangerous when mixed with heart medications, sometimes leading to fatal drops in blood pressure.
The researchers concluded that under the supervision of a physician, sildenafil can be safely used in conjunction with heart medications. There are insufficient studies on the newer medications vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) to draw conclusions, however.
"Taken together, these studies show that erectile dysfunction in patients with mild to moderate chronic heart failure can be safely and effectively treated with sildenafil, provided that patients are appropriately screened before therapy," say the authors.
In cases where medications are determined to be unsafe, the researchers suggested that exercise therapy may be used to successfully treat erectile dysfunction.
"There is actually no need for such medications in a healthy man, regardless of his age," countered consumer health advocate Mike Adams, who is 39 years of age. "Men in their 60's, 70's and even 80's can live an active sex life if they maintain a healthy lifestyle based on regular exercise, maintaining healthy body weight, avoiding all processed foods and supplementing with nutrition and superfoods."
"If you're a man who needs Viagra on your 30's or 40's," Adams added, "you don't need Viagra, you need to clean up your diet and start exercising!"