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Lower Alzheimer Risk Seen With PDE5i Initiation for Erectile Dysfunction

Greatest reduction in risk seen for those receiving 21 to 50 phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor prescriptions

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) — For men with erectile dysfunction (ED), phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i) initiation is associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Neurology.

Matthew Adesuyan, from the UCL School of Pharmacy in London, and colleagues conducted a cohort study involving men aged 40 years and older with a new diagnosis of ED between 2000 and 2017 to examine the association between PDE5i initiation compared to nonuse and the risk for developing AD.

The study included 269,725 men; during a median follow-up of 5.1 years, 1,119 were newly diagnosed with AD. The researchers found that the adjusted hazard ratio for AD was 0.82 for PDE5i initiators compared with nonuse. Individuals issued >20 prescriptions had a reduced risk for AD (hazard ratios, 0.56 and 0.65 for 21 to 50 and >50 prescriptions, respectively). The primary findings were supported in a sensitivity analysis with a one-year lag period (hazard ratio, 0.82), but were not significant with inclusion of a three-year lag period.

“The findings of this large population-based study suggest that the use of PDE5i may be associated with a reduced risk of incident AD,” the authors write. “The greatest risk reduction was observed in those issued >20 prescriptions over a median follow-up of five years.”

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