Congratulations, Sex Probably Won't Give You a Heart Attack

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The study found that only one in three people who had heart attack during sex received any CPR from their partner.

The study was based on data from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, a collection of emergency medical service reports that contain detailed information on the causes and factors of cardiac arrest.

Previous research has already found a link between sex and minor cardiac events, so this new paper adds to the understanding of how sexual activity could be linked to serious heart problems. Fear of post-sex heart failure has been bolstered by plot lines on TV shows like Mad Men, but in reality, "the risk is very small", senior author Dr. Sumeet Chugh tells NBC.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is similar to a heart attack, but the terms are not interchangeable because the physiology behind them isn't the same. On average, these patients were more likely to be male, middle-aged, African-American and have a history of cardiovascular disease, with a majority taking cardiovascular medication.

In September researchers in France revealed men who suffered cardiac arrest while having sex were four times more likely to die than other victims.

Only 34 out of the 4,557 cardiac arrests examined occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse and 32 of those affected were men.




Cardiac arrest results in more than 300,000 deaths each year in the US alone, the researchers say.

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.

The figures were for sudden cardiac arrest, as opposed to a myocardial infarction, which is what is better known as a heart attack. The researchers determined that the low bystander CPR rate accounted for the less than 20 percent of patients who survived to hospital discharge.

The doctors behind the new research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, have stressed the importance of public education on CPR "irrespective of circumstance".

When sex-related cases of cardiac arrest do occur, it's possible the patients might have had undiagnosed or untreated coronary artery disease, Menon, who wasn't involved in the study, said in a phone interview.

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