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How heart-stopping is sex, really?

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Men more at risk of rare heart attack after sex claims Study

Cardiac patients anxious about the risks of sex to their health can feel comfortable being intimate: the chances of a heart attack from sexual activity are extremely small, according to the results of a new study.

The majority of people who had a heart attack during sex also had a history of other heart conditions, including higher rates of ventricular fibrillation - a serious irregular heartbeat - and tachycardia, a faster-than-normal heart rate. Most of the incidents - around 94 percent - occurred in men around 60 years old on average, according to the study presented during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting California on November 12.

Researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre Heart Institute analysed the cause of 4,525 detailed records of fatal cardiac arrest, and found just 34 (0.7 per cent) were as a result of sex.

The bad news is that if you do suffer cardiac arrest from an amorous encounter, there's a decent chance your partner will just let you croak.

The experts claimed that despite the myth that sex might cause a heart attack, especially in older men, this is not the case. The risk of that happening is very low, according to a new study.

This differs from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.

Black men beware: A letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says men are far more likely to go into cardiac arrest during sex than women, and black men are the most likely of the males to have this problem.

"Over the years, we've had a fair bit of data on physical activity and how it's related to sudden cardiac arrest, but no one had looked specifically at sexual activity", said Chugh in a statement.

The examination was introduced at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Though all patients included in the study had their sudden cardiac arrest witnessed by another person, less than a third received CPR. Almost 20 percent of people survived in sex-related cases, compared to only about 13 percent survival odds for other patients.

"These findings highlight the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest, irrespective of the circumstance", said lead author Sumeet Chugh.

There's one silver lining for people who have a cardiac arrest from sex - they're nearly twice as likely to survive, Chugh said.

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