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Viagra helps female hearts, but not alone

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, May 16, 2014

Last week the NIH released a call to arms of sorts, announcing that it would demand its grantees balance the sex of its model organisms from cell cultures on up through higher animals. In the May 16, 2014, online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Johns Hopkins University published a paper on the use of Viagra in heart failure that showed exactly why such balancing is important. Viagra has been looked at as a potential drug for heart failure, because it affects the remodeling of heart cells that drives heart failure's progression. But in clinical trials, it followed a sadly familiar pattern. A small, early trial suggested a benefit. But a larger follow-up study showed essentially no benefit.

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