Heart Patients Told Sex Is Safe—but Not Affairs

Risk of dying during sex miniscule for most patients, study finds

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2012 4:23 AM CST
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(Newser) – Having sex is safe for the vast majority of heart patients as long as they use a little common sense, according to a report from the American Heart Association. Fewer than 1% of heart attacks are linked to sex and patients cleared for physical activity and capable of climbing two flights of stairs shouldn't fear that the next time they have sex will be the last, the report found. People with more severe or unstable symptoms should consult their doctors before resuming sex and all patients should avoid combining nitroglycerine with erectile dysfunction drugs.

"Our recommendations apply to anyone of any age with heart disease, including younger persons with congenital heart disease and other patients including patients in their 70s and 80s," the report's lead author tells Bloomberg. Only 0.6% of sudden deaths happened during sex, the study found—and of that 0.6%, around 90% were men, 75% of whom were having extramarital sex, generally with a younger partner and often after consuming large amounts of food or alcohol.

Your cheatin' heart will make you weep, Hank Williams sang.
"Your cheatin' heart will make you weep," Hank Williams sang.   (Shutterstock)
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A healthy sex life, a healthy intimate life, is an important aspect of a normal, healthy existence. It’s good physically, it’s good emotionally. What we need to encourage people to use is common sense. - Penn State cardiologist Peter Alagona

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