- Most people who worry that having sex might stop their heart can probably just relax and enjoy themselves, a new study suggests.
Most of the victims of sex-induced heart stoppages were taking cardiovascular medications, an indication that these people had a history of heart problems - as opposed to dying during sex with no warning. Previous studies have confirmed sex can trigger non-fatal cardiac events like heart attacks, but Chugh and colleagues designed their study to determine whether or not sexual activity is a risk factor for SCA in particular, since the condition accounts for 350,000 deaths in the USA each year. According to the study, the low bystander CPR rate accounted for less than 20 percent of patients who survived to hospital discharge. Of those cardiac arrests, 32 were men.
"Even though SCA during sexual activity was witnessed by a partner, bystander CPR was performed in only one-third of the cases", said Sumeet Chugh, MD, senior study author and associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. A 2011 study by researchers at Harvard found that sex is easier than working out on a treadmill - and the heart rates of the men in the study rarely rose above 130 beats a minute.
Scientists did find, however, that certain characteristics seemed to correspond with those who had a heart attack under these circumstances.
But overall, sex was linked to only 1 percent of all cardiac arrests that occurred in men.More news: 3 takeaways from Hokies' loss to Georgia Tech
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The researchers noted that sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 300,000 people in the USA every year and physical activity, particularly when the person is not accustomed to it, is linked to a higher risk of the condition.
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.
Despite another partner being present in all sex-linked SCAs, just one-third of those patients received immediate CPR.
It also found that sudden fatal heart attacks among people with a pre-existing heart condition were not significantly more likely to be triggered by sex.