Sex triggered one in 100 fatal heart attacks in men, finds analysis

14 November 2017, 12:21 | Robert Harris

Sex triggered one in 100 fatal heart attacks in men, finds analysis

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

Sexual activity is rarely associated with sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening malfunction of the heart's electrical system causing the heart to suddenly stop beating, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians. All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest. Stay tuned with us for more recent health updates like this.

A research letter published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology said that only a very tiny number of heart attacks have something to do with sex.

Dr Chugh and his colleagues in California examined hospital records on cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in Portland, Oregon. But 94% of those victims had a history of heart disease, NBC News reports. "By the time a person has a cardiac arrest and collapses and someone calls 911 [999 in the UK], the person is destined to die", said Sumeet Chugh, associate director of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and lead author of the study.

When sex preceded cardiac arrest, survival odds tended to be a bit better.

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

Only a third of those suffering from cardiac arrest from sex received potentially life-saving CPR-despite the likelihood that a partner was around to witness the arrest. Though almost 90 percent of those suffering cardiac arrest out of a hospital die, CPR can double or triple a person's chance of surviving, according the American Heart Association.

Of the total cohort who suffered SCAs in the 13-year study period, the authors found just 0.7 percent of the pool-34 patients-experienced SCAs related to sex. Well, the study concludes that there are rare chances that cardiac arrest can trigger someone during sexual intercourse. Researchers also didn't report on what type of sexual encounters occurred, making it hard to determine how strenuous the activity may have been for patients.

When sex-related cases of cardiac arrest do occur, it's possible the patients might have had undiagnosed or untreated coronary artery disease, Menon, who wasn't involved in the study, said in a phone interview.



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