Medicine

Can Sex Trigger Cardiac Arrest?

Can Sex Trigger Cardiac Arrest?

One in every hundred fatal heart attacks in men was triggered by sex, according to a new paper exploring the impact of sexual exertion on cardiac arrest.

Scientists say the key to surviving is calling the emergency services immediately and starting treatment.

To determine whether sexual activity might trigger sudden cardiac arrest, researchers examined records on 4,557 cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in a community in the northwestern United States.

The figures were for sudden cardiac arrest, as opposed to a myocardial infarction, which is what is better known as a heart attack. "Now we have data and we can say to them the risk is very low".

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating.

The researchers then identified which cases were connected to sex, which they classified as an event that occurred within an hour of the sex itself.

FEWER than one in five men who suffer a heart attack during sex survive, research shows.

More news: Mass stabbing at Mall of America in Minnesota
More news: Senate tax proposal gives deduction for pass-through businesses
More news: Congress FMs expose GST flaws: Chidambaram

The majority of people who had a heart attack during sex also had a history of other heart conditions, including higher rates of ventricular fibrillation - a serious irregular heartbeat - and tachycardia, a faster-than-normal heart rate.

Chugh said sexual activity as a sudden cardiac arrest trigger was studied primarily because it hadn't been looked at previously. However, taking this latest one at face value, the odds of going into cardiac arrest when making love are similar to those...

Cardiac arrest results in more than 300,000 deaths each year in the US alone, the researchers say.

The authors also noted that less than a third of patients who had a heart attack during or just after sex received CPR, despite being with someone else at the time of the attack.

There are many unknown variables that could have affected the data (drug use or frequency of sex, for example) but all things considered, sex-induced SCA is rare enough that most people shouldn't worry about it. Almost 20 percent of people survived in sex-related cases, compared to only about 13 percent survival odds for other patients.

The doctors behind the new research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, have stressed the importance of public education on CPR "irrespective of circumstance".