Sex not a risk factor for heart attack

Only one in three men are given emergency treatment by their lover scientists say

In fact, the team discovered that only 0.7 of all sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) cases were related to sexual activity.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest. Only 34 cases occurred during or within an hour of engaging in sex.

"I'm a little surprised at the really tiny number", said study senior researcher Dr. Sumeet Chugh, medical director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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.

About one in 1,000 women will experience sudden cardiac arrest during sexual activity and compared to one in 100 for men.

- Most people who worry that having sex might stop their heart can probably just relax and enjoy themselves, a new study suggests. "Now we have data and we can say to them the risk is very low".

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Patients who had sex before they went into cardiac arrest tended to be about 60 years old on average, compared to around 65 for the patients who were doing other things when their heart stopped beating.

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.

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

There was also a higher proportion of deaths among African-American men. That's lower than the overall rate of CPR for those who suffer cardiac arrest out of a hospital, which is 46 percent.

Of the cardiac patients playing sports or exercising at the time of their arrest, almost all (95 percent) were in the presence of bystanders at the time and 80 percent received CPR from bystanders before getting to the hospital.

"These findings highlight the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for SCA, irrespective of the circumstance", Chugh added. It is not the same as a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked.

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