ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 12, 2017 — Sexual activity is rarely associated with sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening malfunction of the heart’s electrical system causing the heart to suddenly stop beating, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
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.
- Of the cases examined, 34 cardiac arrests occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse.
- Compared with others who had sudden cardiac arrest, people with an arrest associated with sexual intercourse were more likely to be male (94 percent).
- One in 100 cases of cardiac arrest in men was associated with sexual activity, compared with one in 1,000 cases in women.
- Even though sudden cardiac arrest during sexual activity was witnessed by a partner, bystander CPR was performed in only one-third of the cases.
The presence of heart disease and the use of heart medications was common and similar in both groups.
These new data may help inform discussions between healthcare providers and patients on the safety of sexual activity. They also highlight the need to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest, irrespective of the circumstances, researchers said.
The study was funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grants to Dr Sumeet Chugh, the principal investigator.
Aapo Aro, M.D., first author, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, California. Sumeet Chugh, M.D., senior author, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, California.
Presentation Location: Population Science Section, Science and Technology Hall
- Available downloadable B-roll, animation and images related to this news tip are on the right column of the link https://newsroom.heart.org/news/sexual-activity-rarely-a-heart-stopping-activity?preview=484c3df2e7b28ec0cff1233fd9c6768d
- Cardiac Arrest
- Sex and Heart Disease
- Partners of heart defibrillator patients concerned about resuming sex
- Hands Only CPR
- For more news at AHA Scientific Sessions 2017, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA17.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:
AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173
AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004
For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)