The results of a new study suggest that maintaining or increasing sexual activity after suffering a heart attack is linked with increased rates of survival. Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel held a 22-year study looking into whether sex after a first cardiac incident affected long-term survival. Their findings, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, were extremely encouraging.
- The effect sex has on survival rates is pretty profound. The study discovered that getting back in the bedroom within the first six months after a heart attack for either the same amount of sexual activity or more than before the health scare demonstrated a 35% lower risk of death compared to those who reduced or abstained.
- Getting frisky is good for your overall health, not just your heart. The study also suggested that increased activity between the sheets contributed to a reduced risk of death from other illnesses such as cancer. “Sexuality and sexual activity are markers of wellbeing,” explained Professor Yariv Gerber of Tel Aviv University. “Resumption of sexual activity soon after a heart attack may be a part of one’s self-perception as a healthy, functioning, young and energetic person. This may lead to a healthier lifestyle generally.”
- It makes sense if you think about it. Getting down and dirty with your partner requires physical exertion and stamina if you’re doing it right, which would increase your levels of physical fitness. Getting your blood flowing and your heart stronger can only be a good thing, right?
- Of course, you can go too far. The researchers do warn against going too hard and too fast as that can trigger further cardiac events. That being said, slow and steady wins the race here, and moderate and regular sexual activity is helpful rather than harmful.
- The study was pretty extensive. It included 495 people, all under the age of 65, who’d had their first heart attack between 1992 and 1993. Roughly 90% of participants were male, and all who took part were separated into two groups: those who abstained from sexual activity after the heart attack and those who maintained or increased their frequency. The results spoke for themselves.
- Getting off is good for you. “Improved physical fitness, stronger spouse relations, and a mental ability to ‘bounce back’ from the initial shock of the event within a few months are among the possible explanations for the survival benefit observed among the maintained/increased group,” said Gerber. That being said, he acknowledges the limitations of the study given that most of the participants were relatively young and very few were women. Still, the findings were interesting!