Is That Sex to Die For?

Doctors love to talk about the risks and benefits of something before asking for consent. What about sex though? No, not with your doctor! Seriously… there may be more to it than the risk of STDs and using contraception though. A recent article outlines a risk of sex that many probably haven’t thought about.

Sudden cardiac death, or dying suddenly from heart problems, is all-in-all not that common. Of all people who die, studies show that only about 1 in 5 are classified as sudden cardiac death. So what’s love got to do with it? In a recent publication out of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, about 7 out of 1000 of all sudden cardiac deaths happened either during or right after sexual activity.

Although it may not seem like a lot of people, you don’t necessarily want to get caught with your pants down – so to speak – in that situation. Here are some other points they make about their findings:

  • Men were 10 times more likely than women to have sex-related sudden cardiac death
  • Those that died around the time of having sex were on average 5 years younger than the others
  • Pre-existing heart disease didn’t make people more likely to die around the time of sex

It’s not clear why this happens and what makes sex different than other forms of physical activity. Is sex dangerous? There certainly are risks with everything in life. It’s probably safe to assume that the lower your risk of heart disease in the first place, the better off your odds of a long happy life are. After all, having the best sex of your life shouldn’t have to mean the end of your life.

If you have questions about your heart, ask here! We’ll get back to you shortly. Want to book an appointment? Click here for an appointment to get your heart-on.

Published by: Mark P. Abrams, MD

I'm an Internist, Educator, and Cardiology fellow in training. As the Director of Patient Engagement at Heartbeat Health, my goal is to make trustworthy information easily accessible and more available so that people can become more active members of their healthcare teams. By joining together, we can work toward keeping more people healthier, happier, and living longer fulfilling lives.

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