Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute reported Sunday at an American Heart Association conference that only one in every 100 cases of sudden cardiac arrest in men occurred after sexual activity. The majority of cases were men with a previous history of cardiovascular disease.

"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 scientists looked at the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (Oregon SUDS) database from 2002 to 2015 to discover the frequency to which SCA occurred during or within one hour after sexual activity for all persons over the age of 18. "Now we have data and we can say to them the risk is very low".

In total, the scientists identified 4,557 SCAs in Portland during the 13-year study period.

It is known that sexual activity can trigger heart attacks, but the link with cardiac arrest was previously unknown.

The good news is that heart attacks during sex are still rare.

The safety of sex comes up from time to time with patients who've suffered a heart attack or have been diagnosed with a heart problem, Goldberg and Gulati said.

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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 researchers noted that sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 300,000 people in the US every year and physical activity, particularly when the person is not accustomed to it, is linked to a higher risk of the condition.

What is more, less than half those who have a heart attack during sex are likely to get CPR or any other first aid.

However, journal publisher American College of Cardiology said that the researchers did not have information on how often the victims had sex.

The study hence concludes that 1% of the cardiac arrest happens because of sex in men where the percentage is 0.1% in women.

Researchers found that even though sexual partners were present during cardiac arrest, only one-third performed CPR, highlighting the importance of continued CPR education efforts "irrespective of the circumstance".

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