A new study has revealed that sex does not increase the risk of a stroke in heart disease patients.
Research at the Ulm University in Germany have stated that sexual activity generally involves moderate physical activity comparable to climbing two staircases or taking a brisk walk.
In the study, researchers looked at 536 heart disease patients between 30 and 70 years old to evaluate sexual activity in the 12 months before a heart attack and estimate the association of frequency of sexual activity with subsequent cardiovascular events, including fatal heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death.
In a follow-up of 10 years, 100 adverse cardiovascular events occurred in patients in the study. Sexual activity was not a risk factor for subsequent adverse cardiovascular events.
Only 0.7 percent reported sex within an hour before their heart attack. In comparison, over 78 percent reported that their last sexual activity occurred more than 24 hours before the heart attack.
Based on the study, lead author Dietrich Rothenbacher said that it seemed very unlikely that sexual activity was a relevant trigger of heart attack.
Rothenbacher said that less than half of men and less than a third of women were getting information about sexual activity after heart attack from their doctors, adding that it was important to reassure patients that they need not be worried and should resume their usual sexual activity.
Researchers said that the potential of erectile dysfunction as a side effect from various cardiovascular protective medications and the risk of a drop in blood pressure from combining certain heart medications with erectile dysfunction medications should be clearly communicated to patients.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.