Some potential sexual partners might promise heart-stopping sex if you slip between the sheets with them, but a new study shows that's probably not going to happen.
Researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Institute analyzed data from OR and discovered only 0.7 percent of those who died from sudden cardiac arrest had undergone sexual activity up to an hour earlier. The vast majority were male and were more likely to be middle-aged, African-American and have a 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. Previous studies have confirmed sex can trigger non-fatal cardiac events like heart attacks, but Chugh and colleagues designed their study to determine whether or not sexual activity is a risk factor for SCA in particular, since the condition accounts for 350,000 deaths in the US each year. "The risk is very small".
Cardiac arrest involves the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness.
The bad news is that if you do suffer cardiac arrest from an amorous encounter, there's a decent chance your partner will just let you croak.
Anxious whether your heart is strong enough for sex?
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Only 34 out of the 4,557 cardiac arrests examined occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse and 32 of those affected were men.
What is a Heart Attack? Patients who experienced SCA related to sexual activity also had a higher rate of ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia than those who did not.
What is more, less than half those who have a heart attack during sex are likely to get CPR or any other first aid. Almost 20 percent of people survived in sex-related cases, compared to only about 13 percent survival odds for other patients.
However, journal publisher American College of Cardiology said that the researchers did not have information on how often the victims had sex.
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.