Sex rarely makes heart stop beating

Posted November 14, 2017

But in real life, sexual activity very rarely causes cardiac arrest, a new study reassuringly reports. Sudden cardiac death kills about 350,000 Americans each year. 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 USA each year.

Patients who experienced sudden cardiac arrest linked to sexual activity had higher rates of ventricular fibrillation - a serious cardiac rhythm disturbance - and tachycardia, a higher-than-normal heart rate.

Sudden cardiac arrest, which accounts for more than 300,000 deaths annually, happens when an electrical impulse causes the heart to stop beating, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the body and capable of causing death within minutes if not treated.

Put another way, less than 1 percent of the deaths from sudden cardiac arrest were related to sex.

There was also a higher proportion of deaths among African-American men. In their research, they found that from 4,557 sudden cardiac arrest, around 34 was that which happens within an hour of sex, and 32 of them was men.

In addition, African Americans comprised 7.8 percent of the sudden cardiac arrests in the study, but nearly 19 percent of the sexual activity-related cardiac arrests.

The investigation additionally discovered CPR was performed in just a single third of the cases, regardless of them being seen by an accomplice.

Despite another partner being present in all sex-linked SCAs, just one-third of those patients received immediate CPR.

Scientists stated: "The majority of cases were men with a previous history of cardiovascular disease". That's lower than the overall rate of CPR for those who suffer cardiac arrest out of a hospital, which is 46 percent.

"These findings highlight the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for SCA, irrespective of the circumstance", Chugh said in a press release.

Sex generally is safe for most heart patients, unless they are unable to maintain even low levels of activity or have symptoms that keep them from doing daily chores like making the bed or cleaning the house, the heart experts noted.