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11 Nov 2004

Heart problems and sex
If I have heart problems should I be having sex. I am a 52 year old male.
Answer 516 views

01 Jan 0001

Heart risks & sex

The risk of a heart attack from sex or orgasms is very low. For example:

The risk of a heart attack in any given hour for a 50 year old man at low risk of heart disease (e.g. without diabetes or previous angina) is 1 in 1 million.
If he has been sexually active in the previous 2 hours, his risk of heart attack becomes 2 in 1 million.
Following that 2 hour time period, the risk returns to 1 in 1 million.
If a 50 year old man has high risk factors for heart disease (for example, has already had a heart attack), his risk is still only about 10 in 1 million in any one hour.
The risk will then increase to 20 in 1 million for 2 hours after a sexual encounter.
It is important to note that these risks, although very low, become insignificant if the man does regular physical exercise (for example, working out in a gym at least 3 times a week). Exercise is considered to likely be similarly protective in women, but there have not been enough studies including women who have been sexually active immediately prior to the heart attack to draw any conclusions about protection from regular exercise for women.
If there are concerns about cardiac safety, stress tests can be done. Exercise (or occasionally a medication) is prescribed to stress the heart to the same degree as sex would stress it, and the heart is monitored. This test can be ordered by the family doctor or specialist.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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