Sex unlikely to cause cardiac arrest, study finds

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

Despite it being a somewhat frequent plot twist in movies, dying from a sudden cardiac arrest while engaging in sex is not a common occurrence, according to research published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers examined data on 4,557 adults who died from a sudden cardiac arrest, which is essentially a short circuit in the heart's electrical system.

Just 34 cases occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse.

Put another way, less than 1 percent of the deaths from sudden cardiac arrest were related to sex.

According to researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, the odds of going into cardiac arrest after getting jiggy between the sheets are very low, but they did find that it is higher for guys compared to ladies. The person loses consciousness and ceases breathing. "Heart attacks occur when there is a blockage in one or more of the arteries to the heart, preventing the heart from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood", notes WebMD.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurred during sexual activity in 18 cases and within minutes of it in 15 cases.

In an earlier article about sex and heart attack, a United States cardiologist puts the absolute risk of heart attack for a 50-year-old man who exercises regularly at one chance in a million per hour.

But in this study, researchers examined the heart health and sexual activity of over 1,000 men between 40 and 70 over a 16-year period. Though almost 90 percent of those suffering cardiac arrest out of a hospital die, CPR can double or triple a person's chance of surviving, according the American Heart Association.

Regardless, the results show that there isn't a high risk associated with sex and sudden cardiac arrest, Chugh said.

This differs from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.

The doctors behind the paper stressed the importance of public education on CPR "irrespective of circumstance", after their analysis found just one third of these cases saw resuscitation attempted despite their partner being present.

The study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how sex might contribute to the odds of experiencing or surviving sudden cardiac arrest.

Moreover, some cases of SCA after sexual activity may also involve medications, stimulants and alcohol use, the researchers said.

Related News: