Sex triggered one in 100 fatal heart attacks in men, finds analysis

Fewer than one in five men who suffer cardiac arrest during sex survive — because their partners do not know CPR

"For the last two decades we've been working on how to predict and prevent sudden cardiac arrest".

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical impulse goes awry and the heart suddenly stops beating, halting blood flow to the brain and other vital organs.

Heart-stopping sex is rare, but when it occurs it usually happens to a man, says one of the first large studies to examine sudden cardiac arrest during or just after sex.

One in 100 cases of cardiac arrest in men was associated with sexual activity, compared with one in 1,000 cases in women.

For a case of cardiac arrest to be considered related to sexual activity, however, it was required to have occurred either "during or within 1 hour of sexual intercourse".

"I'm a little surprised at the really tiny number", said study senior researcher Dr. Sumeet Chugh, medical director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. We believe very strongly that our audience should have an opportunity to discuss and debate events in our world, however, we have not been able to moderate the comments as well as we would like.

According to the latest data available to the American Heart Association (AHA), in 2016, more than 350,000 people experienced a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, and, of these, only 12 percent survived.

But of these more than half happened during sex.

In an earlier article about sex and heart attack, a United States cardiologist puts the absolute risk of heart attack for a 50-year-old man who exercises regularly at one chance in a million per hour.

There were no significant differences in terms of cardiac disease history and medication across groups, although ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia were more common than other heart conditions.

Though all patients included in the study had their sudden cardiac arrest witnessed by another person, less than a third received CPR.

The doctors behind the paper stressed the importance of public education on CPR "irrespective of circumstance", after their analysis found just one third of these cases saw resuscitation attempted despite their partner being present.

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