Can Sex Trigger Fatal Cardiac Arrest? Study Finds Risk Is 'Extremely Low'

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Many men with heart disease fear that having sex could kill them, but new research shows the danger is slight.

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. Still, only about 1 percent of men who experience sudden cardiac arrest have it happen during sexual activity, a low number that suggests it is not a great threat.

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.

Sudden cardiac arrest, which accounts for more than 300,000 deaths annually, happens when an electrical impulse causes the heart to stop beating, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the body and capable of causing death within minutes if not treated.

The American Heart Association says sex is safe for most people with stabilized heart disease, but patients should talk to their doctors about individual risks. Their research experts presented at the conference society of cardiology in Anaheim USA. "The risk is very small".

"Even though SCA during sexual activity was witnessed by a partner, bystander CPR was performed in only one-third of the cases", Dr Sumeet Chugh, MD, senior study author and associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said in a statement.

During intimacy died from cardiac arrest 30 people, 15 of them felt unwell after sex.

"This highlights the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of CPR, no matter the circumstance", Chugh said.

The new findings are part of a 16-year study of heart risk factors involving about a million people living in and around Portland. Despite another partner being present in all sex-linked SCAs, just one-third of those patients received immediate CPR. As such, 50 percent of the physically active patients survived, while only about 12 percent of the sexually active patients made it. In a 2011 meta-analysis in JAMA, Tufts University researchers found that an hour of love-making a week raised absolute risk of a heart attack only a teeny amount-between two to three per 100,000 person years.

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