Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Can sex really trigger cardiac arrest?

Can sex really trigger cardiac arrest?

Scientists have figured out how many people die of heart problems during sex, and they say certain groups are more at risk than others of going into sudden cardiac arrest while engaging in sexual activity. But 94% of those victims had a history of heart disease, NBC News reports.

"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. Most of the incidents - around 94 percent - occurred in men around 60 years old on average, according to the study presented during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting California on November 12.

Just 34 out of the 4,557 heart failures inspected happened amid or inside one hour of sex and 32 of those influenced were men.

The new findings are part of a 16-year study of heart risk factors involving about a million people living in and around Portland. A 2011 study by researchers at Harvard found that sex is easier than working out on a treadmill - and the heart rates of the men in the study rarely rose above 130 beats a minute. Too much effort is usually bad for the heart, and some might be afraid they might suffer a cardiac arrest right in the middle of the enjoyable activity.

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It is not the same as a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked. According to the study, the low bystander CPR rate accounted for less than 20 percent of patients who survived to hospital discharge. That means that sex is linked to only about one in a hundred cases of cardiac arrest in men.

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

But the study found that only a third of people who collapse during sex are likely to receive CPR from their partner. Almost 20 percent of people survived in sex-related cases, compared to only about 13 percent survival odds for other patients.

Your next romp with a paramour may blow your mind, but it's unlikely to stop your heart, according to research presented this weekend at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017 in Anaheim, California. They also highlight the need to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest, irrespective of the circumstances, researchers said.

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