Sex Poses Low Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The risk for sudden cardiac arrest during sexual activity is low, but so are the survival rates when the heart suddenly stops. This is according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017 in Anaheim, California. It’s widely known that sexual activity can trigger cardiac events like heart attack (also called myocardial infarction), but for this study, researchers set out to determine whether sex is a potential trigger for sudden cardiac arrest.
They analyzed data from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study from 2002 to 2015 to discover the frequency of cardiac arrest during, or within an hour of, sexual activity in people over age 18.
In all, the researchers identified 4,557 sudden cardiac arrests, 34 of which (0.7 percent) were linked to sexual activity. These patients were more likely, on average, to be male, middle-aged, African-American and have a history of heart disease, including heart rhythm disorders. Most were taking cardiovascular medication. Interestingly, only about one-third of these patients received bystander CPR even though a partner was present, contributing to a less than 20 percent survival rate.