Sex, Death and Fidelity
Patients with diabetes often have heart disease.
Those who have had a heart attack may worry about having sex after they've recovered.
Will sexual activity give them another heart attack?
Can sex cause sudden death in a person at high risk for heart attack?
The American Heart Association recently analyzed the scientific literature on this topic.
It is clear that regular physical activity reduces your risk of heart attack, technically known as myocardial infarction.
Sexual activity can be considered a form of mild to moderate physical activity. I discussed this in a previous post.
In 4 studies of adults, the majority of which were men in their 50s and 60s, those who had been sedentary, physically inactive, had a 3 fold increased risk of myocardial infarction during the time of sex as compared to when they were not engaged in sexual intercourse.
But for those physically active persons, the relative risk of myocardial infarction was only 1.2.
Overall, the so-called absolute risk of a myocardial infarction during sexual intercourse is quite low. Less than 1 % of all myocardial infarctions occur in close relation to sexual intercourse. And the chance of another myocardial infarction during sex is also very low in those who have had a previous myocardial infarction.
How about suddenly dying during sex?
Sudden death can occur during sex from a myocardial infarction or life threatening arrhythmia (heart irregularity) . Although the increases in heart rate and blood pressure during orgasm and sex are about the same in women as for men, about 90% of those who suddenly die during sex are men.
Interesting isn’t it?
In 3 autopsy reports of thousands of persons who suffered sudden death, only 0.6% had sudden death related to sexual activity. That is only 6 out of every thousand who died suddenly.
So, in general, your chances of dying suddenly during sex are fairly low, especially if you are healthy with few risk factors for heart disease.
But here’s a key point.
About 75 percent of those sudden deaths during sex occurred with sex outside of marriage.
The lessons I take away from this are:
· stay physically active,
· remain faithful to your partner and
· talk to your doctor about your sexual concerns.
This statement from the American Heart Association has much more in the way of guidance and recommendations for patients and their doctors.
Take care and be well,
Your Diabetes Endocrine Nutrition Group