Sexual activity rarely a heart-stopping activity

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Bystanders performed chest compressions on 27 percent of the non sexual activity patients, while 32 percent of the patients who had a sudden cardiac arrest during or immediately after sex received CPR.

Dr. Sumeet Chugh, senior author of the study and a professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, told CNN that the large number of people helped strengthen the legitimacy of the study's findings.

To determine whether sexual activity might trigger sudden cardiac arrest, researchers examined records on 4,557 cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in a community in the northwestern United States.

During sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and stops sending oxygen-rich blood to organs like the brain.

But in real life, sexual activity very rarely causes cardiac arrest, a new study reassuringly reports. On average, these patients were more likely to be male, middle-aged, African-American and have a history of cardiovascular disease, with a majority taking cardiovascular medication. That means that sex is linked to only about one in a hundred cases of cardiac arrest in men.

Only 20 percent of the 34 patients identified in the study survived, in part, the researchers believe, because CPR was only administered to one third of the individuals who experienced an SCA, despite the fact that a partner was there to witness the event.

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

Many men with heart disease fear that having sex could kill them, but new research shows the danger is slight.

In addition, African Americans comprised 7.8 percent of the sudden cardiac arrests in the study, but nearly 19 percent of the sexual activity-related cardiac arrests.

Together, researchers suggest that CPR training is clearly warranted, but the worry that friskiness can halt a heart is not.

Of the cardiac patients playing sports or exercising at the time of their arrest, almost all (95 percent) were in the presence of bystanders at the time and 80 percent received CPR from bystanders before getting to the hospital.

"This highlights the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of CPR, no matter the circumstance", Chugh said.

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