In September researchers in France revealed men who suffered cardiac arrest while having sex were four times more likely to die than other victims. Of these, 34 (0.7 percent) of SCAs were linked to sexual activity.
About 19 percent of the patients in sex-related cardiac arrest cases survived their ordeal, compared with an average survival rate of around 10 percent nationwide, he said.
While it is known that sex can trigger heart attacks, Cedars-Sinai research is said to be the first to look at sexual activity as a cause for cardiac arrest.
The research was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to the heart gets cut off, starving it of its oxygen supply. It usually occurs without warning.
Sudden cardiac arrest kills about 350,000 people every year in the United States.
Chugh and co-authors used the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study to identify 4,557 SCAs in Portland between 2002 and 2015. The patients who did were more likely to be male, middle-aged, black and have a history of cardiovascular disease, according to the ACC.
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The study also found CPR was performed in only one-third of the cardiac arrests, despite happening in the presence of another person.
Almost 20 percent of the sex-related sudden cardiac arrest patients survived compared to just 12.9 percent of the non-sexual activity-related patients.
During CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
Of those cases, 18 occurred during sex and 15 immediately after sex. This happened mostly because only one-third of those who collapsed during received CPR, which could have increased survival chances.
The study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how sex might contribute to the odds of experiencing or surviving sudden cardiac arrest. "Although sexual activity involves exertion, the mechanisms triggering [sudden cardiac arrest] may be unique, and in some situations may also involves medications, stimulants and alcohol use".
Sex generally is safe for most heart patients, unless they are unable to maintain even low levels of activity or have symptoms that keep them from doing daily chores like making the bed or cleaning the house, the heart experts noted.
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