Medicine

Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

Of the 4,557 sudden cardiac arrests identified during the study period, the researchers classified all those that occurred during or within an hour of sex as related to the act itself: 34 cases, or 0.7%.

"The findings are reassuring", for people with heart disease concerned that sex might be unsafe, said senior author Sumeet Chugh, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. Men suffered two-thirds of all sudden cardiac arrests but at a much higher rate when linked to sex - 32 out of the 34 cases.

Aapo L. Aro et al, Sexual Activity as a Trigger for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2017).

There's one silver lining for people who have a cardiac arrest from sex - they're nearly twice as likely to survive, Chugh said.

The age range of the patients who suffered arrest during sex was 34 to 83.

Another finding from the new study: Just one-third of people who collapsed during or after sexual intercourse received CPR "despite the fact that you are usually guaranteed a bystander", in such cases, Chugh said.

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The presence of heart disease and the use of heart medications was common and similar in both groups.

According to researchers, although cardiac arrest during sex is not a common phenomenon, the importance of performing CPR on these patients can not be more emphasized. 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.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical malfunction causes the heart to stop beating.

The team used the paramedics to conduct the interviews that provided them with answers as to how these cardiac arrests could have been triggered.

"We learn from the medics. They tell us who had a cardiac arrest, and then we go back to the time that they were born, and we get their entire records".

Every minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or defibrillation reduces someone's survival chances by 10%. His next part of the study, he said, was to include the 850,000 residents of Ventura County, California. It is known that sexual activity may trigger non-fatal cardiac events such as myocardial infarction, but researchers in this study sought to determine if sexual activity is a potential trigger for SCA in the general population.


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