Over 500 heart attack survivors aged 30 to 70 took part in a German research aimed to see if sex leads to cardiac problems. About 0.7 percent of the participants had sexual activities prior to the heart attack, findings showed. Eighty percent of the survivors reported no sexual activities in the 24 hours before the incident.
The participants were asked about their sexual activities during the 12 months prior to their heart attack. Fifty-five percent of the survivors said they had sex twice or more in a week. Less than a quarter of the participants reported having sex less than once a week. About 4.7 percent said they had sex less than once in a month's time. Lastly, 14.9 percent reported having no sexual activities during the 12-month period. Researchers from Ulm University in Southern Germany found no connection in the participants' sexual activities and cardiac health problems.
"Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack", said Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher, the study's lead author.
The research team found that a significant number of the study participants are being advised to refrain from strenuous activities - including sex - by their doctors. Rothenbacher stressed that patients should be reassured by their physicians that having sex is safe and it is just as strenuous as climbing the stairs or brisk walking.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (UK) is aware of the patients' fear that sex can increase the risk of having an attack. NHS reassured patients that there is no link between the two. The British Heart Foundation added that patients can resume their sexual activities as soon as they feel better and well enough to perform. Four to six weeks should be long enough for patients to recover.
This life-threatening medical emergency happens when there is an obstruction in the heart's blood supply. In most cases, a blood clot blocks the blood supply and damages the heart muscle. Chest pain is the main symptom of heart attack where a person suffers a squeezing sensation in the chest. The pain radiates from the chest and expands to the neck, jaw, arms and back. Shortness of breath and lightheadedness often accompany the chest pain.
In the UK, around 120,000 people suffer a heart attack every year. National statistics reveal around 1.5 million survivors, 900,000 of which are younger than 75 years old.