Sex triggered one in 100 fatal heart attacks in men, finds analysis

The majority of people who had a heart attack during sex also had a history of other heart conditions, including higher rates of ventricular fibrillation - a serious irregular heartbeat - and tachycardia, a faster-than-normal heart rate.

This was slightly higher than the 27 per cent of non-sex triggered heart attacks, the difference was not statistically significant and those individuals might have died alone.

But overall, sex was linked to only 1 percent of all cardiac arrests that occurred in men.

One in 100 cases of cardiac arrest in men was associated with sexual activity, compared with one in 1000 cases in women. According to the study, the low bystander CPR rate accounted for less than 20 percent of patients who survived to hospital discharge.

The figures were for sudden cardiac arrest, as opposed to a myocardial infarction, which is what is better known as a heart attack.

Researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute analyzed data from OR and discovered only 0.7 percent of those who died from sudden cardiac arrest had undergone sexual activity up to an hour earlier. Just two of the 34 cardiac arrest patients were female, the findings showed. "It's not that we are preoccupied by sex".


Scientists did find, however, that certain characteristics seemed to correspond with those who had a heart attack under these circumstances.

Sex generally is safe for most heart patients, unless they are unable to maintain even low levels of activity or have symptoms that keep them from doing daily chores like making the bed or cleaning the house, the heart experts noted.

These new data may help inform discussions between healthcare providers and patients on the safety of sexual activity.

Almost 20 percent of the sex-related hearts attack patients survived, compared to just 12.9 percent of those whose heart attacks weren't linked to sex.

There's one silver lining for people who have a cardiac arrest from sex - they're nearly twice as likely to survive, Chugh said. "You're pretty much guaranteed to have a witness if sexual activity is involved".

In fact, the team discovered that only 0.7 of all sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) cases were related to sexual activity. It will also be published simultaneously in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


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