Are you a heart attack survivor? Scientists say you can go ahead hit the sheets, seeing sexual activity as a very unlikely relevant trigger of heart attacks.
Tracking the health of over 500 heart attack survivors, a German study looked at the relationship between sex and the patient’s first heart attack, as well as links with subsequent health events. The researchers found that only 0.7 percent or fewer than five of 536 men and women had sex in the hour before their heart attack, while almost 80 percent have not had lovemaking for at least 24 hours before their illness.
“It is important to reassure patients that they need not be worried and should resume their usual sexual activity,” wrote study author Dietrich Rothenbacher in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The researchers at the Ulm University in Germany even stated that sexual activity carries no bigger risk of triggering another heart attack than climbing two staircases or brisk-walking.
Rothenbacher, however, called on heart attack survivors to beware of the impotence-causing potential of some of their medicines – erection drugs used to treat the side effect could result in a drop in blood pressure.
But here is the reason why making love is in fact encouraged after a heart attack: regular exercise and physical activity are actually good for the heart. They continue to be recommended for most heart attack patients.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom acknowledges the worry of many patients about having sex again, emphasizing that there is no evidence backing their concern.
According to the British Heart Foundation, patients can start engaging in sex again as soon as they feel well enough, which is about four to six weeks after a heart attack.
Heart attacks are a serious medical emergency where the supply of blood to the heart is obstructed, typically by a blood clot. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness or lightheadedness, and an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, which is one in every four deaths. Heart disease is the leading killer in both men and women, with about 735,000 experiencing a heart attack every year.