Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sudden physical activity (and sex) can kill, researchers say

Former vice president Nelson Rockefeller died of a heart attack in 1979,
reportedly while having sex with his mistress.

Make sure you ease into extreme physical activity after a long period of inactivity, researchers say, which increases risk of heart attack.

Doctors have long known that physical activity can cause serious heart problems, but a new study helps to quantify that risk by Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The team analyzed data from 14 studies looking at the link between exercise, sex and the risk of heart attacks or sudden cardiac death -- a lethal heart rhythm that causes the heart to stop circulating blood. They found people are 3.5 times more likely to get a heart attack or have sudden cardiac death when they are exercising compared to when they are not.

And they are 2.7 times more likely to get a heart attack when they are having sex or immediately afterward compared with when they are not. (These findings do not apply to sudden cardiac death because there were no studies looking at the link between sex and cardiac death.)

Jessica Paulus, another Tufts researcher who worked on the study, said the risk is fairly high as such studies go. But the period of increased risk is brief.

"These elevated risks are only for a short period of time (1 to 2 hours) during and after the physical or sexual activity," Paulus said.

She said it is important to balance the findings with other studies showing that regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death by 30 percent.

"What we really don't want to do is for the public to walk away from this and think exercise is bad," she said.

Basically, more sex more often prevents heart attacks. Go get busy (and remember to be safe with it)!

No comments:

Post a Comment