People who worry if they could have a heart attack or have their heart stopping while having sex can now relax and enjoy themselves, suggests a recent published 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. They found just 34 cases linked to sexual activity.
Put another way, less than 1 percent of the deaths from sudden cardiac arrest were related to sex.
“Based on this data we now know that the likelihood of sex being a trigger for sudden cardiac arrest is extremely low,” senior study author Dr. Sumeet Chugh, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute in Los Angeles, said by email.
Men with a history of cardiovascular disease, however, may be more at risk of facing sudden cardiac arrest during or soon after sex, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher has revealed.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is when the heart suddenly stops beating. It usually occurs without warning. The findings showed that although the incidence of SCA is very rare, survival rates in such cases remain low.
That’s because, the partners failed to immediately perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which could save more lives, the researchers said.
“Even though sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during sexual activity was witnessed by a partner, bystander CPR was performed in only one-third of the cases,” said Chugh.
The study examined records of more than 4,500 cardiac arrests over a period of 13 years in persons above 18 years.
Out of these only 34 were during or within an hour of having sex, and 32 of those were men, who were already taking drugs for heart conditions.
Patients who experienced sudden cardiac arrest related to sexual activity also had a higher rate of ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia than those who did not.
Apart from the fact that only one-third of the SCA cases received bystander CPR, the low bystander CPR rate accounted for less than 20 per cent of patients who survived to hospital discharge, the researchers noted.
Moreover, some cases of SCA after sexual activity may also involve medications, stimulants and alcohol use, the researchers said.
“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.