Few Cases of Cardiac Arrest Occur During Sex

Toni Houston
November 14, 2017

One in every hundred fatal heart attacks in men was triggered by sex, according to a new paper exploring the impact of sexual exertion on cardiac arrest.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

Research led by Dr. Sumeet Chugh, associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, showed that after reviewing more than 300,000 cardiac deaths each year in the US, less than 1 percent were linked with having sex.

They found that of all the cases of cardiac arrest, only 34 cases, or 0.7%, were connected to sex.

"Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system to the heart malfunctions and suddenly becomes very irregular. and blood is not delivered to the body".

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

In September researchers in France revealed men who suffered cardiac arrest while having sex were four times more likely to die than other victims.


There is another lesson though; survival rates after a heart attack are much higher where chest compressions and CPR are started while waiting for an ambulance.

Cardiac arrest results in more than 300,000 deaths each year in the USA alone, the researchers say.

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

There are many unknown variables that could have affected the data (drug use or frequency of sex, for example) but all things considered, sex-induced SCA is rare enough that most people shouldn't worry about it. The study also found that 94% of all males cases of cardiac arrest occurred with guys who already had a history of heart disease.

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. This happened mostly because only one-third of those who collapsed during received CPR, which could have increased survival chances.

Dr Chugh said: "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".

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