Sexual activity poses exceedingly small risk in causing sudden cardiac arrest

A new study published this weekend shows that even though the chance of suffering a heart attack while having sex is greater for men than women, it's still pretty rare overall.

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

Scientists stated: "The majority of cases were men with a previous history of cardiovascular disease".

"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", said Chugh, the study's senior author and a highly respected expert on sudden cardiac arrest.

In total, the scientists identified 4,557 SCAs in Portland during the 13-year study period.

Cardiac arrest involves the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness.

"Sexual activity is just one variable in the whole big picture" of cardiac risks, but one that hasn't been studied in depth, Chugh added. As the same situation is visualized in a number of dramatic series where an older man can get a heart attack during sex.

"For the last two decades we've been working on how to predict and prevent sudden cardiac arrest".

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. The researchers and their teams talk to the patient who gets a heart attack and also from the relatives of some who's closed one gets died due to cardiac arrest.

The data, recorded from paramedic notes as part of a long-running study on sudden unexpected deaths found more than half of these happened (55 per cent) during sex, while the rest occurred within 15 minutes.

About 19 percent of the patients in sex-related cardiac arrest cases survived their ordeal, compared with an average survival rate of around 10 percent nationwide, he said.

But the study found that only a third of people who collapse during sex are likely to receive CPR from their partner.

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

"These findings highlight the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for SCA, irrespective of the circumstance".

  • Delores Daniels