Will Sex Kill You? Scientists Probe Link Between Sexual Activity, Cardiac Arrest

Fewer than one in five men who suffer cardiac arrest during sex survive — because their partners do not know CPR

Although it's a staple trope in film and television, a new study suggests that having a serious heart attack is actually highly unlikely to happen during or just after sex.

A U.S. study of sudden cardiac arrests found only a third of cases that occurred during sex received "bystander CPR".

Scientists stated: "The majority of cases were men with a previous history of cardiovascular disease".

"People will ask their doctors if sex increases their risk of sudden death, and we've never had the answer before because there never was a study", Dr. Sumeet Chugh, the lead author of the study and the associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said in a statement.

To determine whether sexual activity might trigger sudden cardiac arrest, researchers examined records on 4,557 cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in a community in the northwestern United States.

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Cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become so chaotic that the heart suddenly stops beating.

Researched cite this as the reason that less than 20 per cent of patients who have a heart attack during sex survive.

A senior author of the study tells that 10 percent or less then that had survived in case of cardiac arrest in the US. As the same situation is visualized in a number of dramatic series where an older man can get a heart attack during sex.

It is not the same as a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked.

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

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Overall, 94 percent of the people who went into cardiac arrest during sex were men, according to the research. However, a closer look at the study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association revealed another far more reassuring statistic.

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.

The scientists also found that in about two-thirds of the cases, even though a partner was there during the cardiac arrest, that partner did not perform CPR on the victim.

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

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

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