Germany – A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggested that having sex does not trigger a second heart attack in patients that have had one.
Although several individuals who have suffered a heart attack stop having sex out of fear the act could cause another one, the study suggests they are in no danger. Researchers tracked the sexual patterns of 536 patients, ages 30 to 70, who has suffered from a heart attack and found there is no relation between the myocardial infarction and sexual activity.
“Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack,” said Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher, one of the study’s authors and Ulm University’s chair of the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry from Germany in a written statement.
The experiment began ten years ago, when researchers started tracking sexual patterns by asking the patients who has suffered a heart attack when their last sexual activity was and how often they had sex before the event.
Less than 1 percent reported having sex within an hour of a heart attack while more than 78 percent had had sex more than a day before the incident.
Doctors continue to track these same patients for ten years and 100 of them happened to experience another heart attack or other cardiovascular events, though none of them could be linked to sexual activity.
Moreover, about 15 percent of the subjects did not have sex at all in the year leading up to the heart attack, about 5 percent of the patients had sex less frequently than once per month in the year leading up to the heart attack, 25 percent of the subjects had sex less frequently than once per week in the year leading up to the heart attack, and 55 percent of the individuals had sex once or more each week, in the year leading up to the heart attack.
Doctors also said that sex could be associated with physical exercise, but it is not more stressful on the heart than activities like taking a vigorous walk or climbing two flights of stairs.
Nonetheless, it is important to know when to be ready to have sex. Some heart attack survivors should avoid the activity if they still experience chest discomfort. If the doctor has recommended not doing any physical activity, having sex may be included. Other patients who are taking drugs for chest pain should speak with their doctor first before taking medications to treat erectile dysfunction.