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by Marijana Domazet, Tuesday, July 1, 2014 | Categories: Viagra

Whilst it is well known that medicinal research focuses on considering the same treatment for multiple conditions, the other side of the coin is that some research also considers whether certain medications can cause or trigger other illnesses.

An example of the latter comes from a recent study considering the relationship between melanoma and the use of Viagra. The somewhat surprising relationship has gained attention from the research community.

The study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, was a prospective cohort study. It included a total of 25,848 participants with an average age of 65. The participants completed a questionnaire every two years. The results from the questionnaire were then compared with the diagnosis of melanoma within this group. The main findings indicated that men who were using or had used Viagra had a higher risk of developing melanoma. Specifically, a history of using Viagra was linked to a man being twice as likely to develop melanoma, whereas using Viagra increased the risk by 84%. The researchers concluded that more research is needed to establish the reason for this relationship before any clinical recommendations are enforced.

We agree with the researchers that more studies are needed to fully grasp any implications of the findings. Whilst the study demonstrates interesting findings, they are still yet to be replicated and understood. Many studies find links between certain variables however it may be spurious or altogether irrelevant for the aetiology of an illness. In addition to that, it is worth highlighting that much of the data came from self-reported questionnaires, which may not be the most reliable measurement.

Despite this, some physicians have suggested that medical practitioners enquire whether patients who use Viagra have experienced a change in their skin. Although it never hurts to be too cautious when treating patients, perhaps it is premature to suggest additional checks as a result of one observational study.

Given that melanoma has been on the decrease over the period that Viagra has been around, we cannot see an argument for correlation, far less causality. You can read more information on this study at this website.

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