Is it safe to have sex after a heart attack? This is one of the questions that many patients ask themselves after having had a heart attack. A new study carried out by scientists at the University of Ulm (Germany) concludes that sex does not increase the risk of having a heart attack and that it is, apart from healthy, totally safe .
To reach this conclusion, the researchers involved 536 volunteers with heart disease, aged between 30 and 70 years, who were followed for 10 years with an emphasis on the 12 months prior to an attack. to the heart. All of them completed a self-assessment questionnaire, the data of which showed that 14.9% of the patients claimed not to have had sexual intercourse in the 12 months before a heart attack; 4% had sexual encounters at least once a month before the heart attack; 25.4% had sex less than once a week and 55% reported having sex several times a week .
These results, compared with the follow-up for a decade (in which there were 100 cases of heart attacks or similar), served to estimate that the association between the frequency of sexual activity with the appearance of subsequent cardiovascular events , such as a heart attack or a cerebrovascular accident, did not represent a risk factor , even having had sexual intercourse 24 hours before the heart attack (78% of the participants).
Having sex is equivalent to doing moderate physical activity such as taking a brisk walk or climbing two flights of stairs. Therefore, “it seems highly unlikely that sexual activity is a major trigger for a heart attack . And it is important to reassure patients that they do not have to be concerned and should resume their normal sexual activity. Lack of time or embarrassment should not be an excuse to avoid talking about sex with patients, as it is essential for the mental and physical health of the heart patient, “explains Dietrich Rothenbacher, leader of the work.
The study has been published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology .