Sex not a risk factor for heart attack

But it can't give a more detailed risk analysis on how likely sex is to trigger a heart attack compared with resting or other activity without knowing how frequently these people were having sex.

Engaging in sex is rarely a heart-stopping activity, according to a new study.

The news is most welcome for patients with heart problems who aren't sure if sex could be risky, Chugh said.

"People will ask their doctors if sex increases their risk of sudden death, and we've never had the answer before because there never was a study", Dr. Sumeet Chugh, the lead author of the study and the associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said in a statement.

Sudden cardiac arrest is associated with sexual activity far more often in men than women, research suggests.

In total, the scientists identified 4,557 SCAs in Portland during the 13-year study period. Too much effort is usually bad for the heart, and some might be afraid they might suffer a cardiac arrest right in the middle of the enjoyable activity. The risk of that happening is very low, according to a new study.

The safety of sex comes up from time to time with patients who've suffered a heart attack or have been diagnosed with a heart problem, Goldberg and Gulati said.

There's one silver lining for people who have a cardiac arrest from sex - they're nearly twice as likely to survive, Chugh said.

The scientists also found that in about two-thirds of the cases, even though a partner was there during the cardiac arrest, that partner did not perform CPR on the victim.

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. Patients who experienced SCA related to sexual activity also had a higher rate of ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia than those who did not.

The study is scheduled to be presented Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

"Over the years, we've had a fair bit of data on physical activity and how it's related to sudden cardiac arrest, but no one had looked specifically at sexual activity", said Chugh in a statement. The researchers determined that the low bystander CPR rate accounted for the less than 20 percent of patients who survived to hospital discharge.


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