In fact, it’s almost always good for you …
(Susan Scutti, CNN) It’s a familiar scene in TV melodramas: Mid-intercourse, an older man collapses, clutching his heart.
Yet sex and sudden cardiac arrest rarely happen together, according to research.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a short circuit that occurs in the heart’s electrical system, causing it to stop beating suddenly.
For the study, Dr. Sumeet Chugh of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and his colleagues examined the records of all adults who died of sudden cardiac arrest in Portland, Oregon, from 2002 through 2015.
Chugh and his team relied on interviews with paramedics, who have been trained to find out exactly what happened, as opposed to searching death certificates.
‘A wonderful answer for those who love sex’
“We learn from the medics. They tell us who had a cardiac arrest, and then we go back to the time that they were born, and we get their entire records,” Chugh said. When possible, the researchers talked to survivors as well.
Of the 4,557 sudden cardiac arrests identified during the study period, the researchers classified all those that occurred during or within an hour of sex: 34 cases, or 0.7%. Of these, 32 were men.
Among men then, 1% of the total cardiac arrest cases were triggered by sex, while for women it was 0.1%.
Overall, the question of whether having sex might be dangerous to heart patients is one that “needed to be answered,” said Dr. Michael J. Ackerman of Mayo Clinic.
“And it’s a wonderful answer for those who love sex.”
“I think it’s important to healthy relationships to have this anxiety lifted,” he said.
“In the big picture, it is rare for sexual intercourse to be a trigger for sudden cardiac arrest,” he said.
READ THE FULL STORY AT CNN. Also of interest: Your Heart Attack Risk May Be 2X Normal; Here’s Why